Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : NA Page No. : 6
URL : NA

 

An article originally published by the CATO Institute titled “Is Washington Courting India as an Anti-China Ally?”

The just completed visit of Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to India has generated considerable speculation. This is especially true in China where opinion leaders noted not only was this Carter’s second trip to India during his relatively short tenure as Pentagon chief, but that he cancelled a previously scheduled trip to Beijing. That move, they feared, suggested a rather unsubtle tilt against China in favor of one of its potential geostrategic competitors.

The agreement that came from Carter’s visit will do nothing to reassure the Chinese.  Carter and his Indian counterpart, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, pledged to increase logistical cooperation in the military arena, especially maritime cooperation. Although that agreement is still a considerable distance away from constituting a full-fledged military alliance between the two nations, it continues a trend that has emerged over the past decade of ever deepening strategic ties. And mutual concerns about China’s ambitions appear to be the driving force in the bilateral relationship.

At a minimum, the United States appears to be trying to put in place the building blocks of a containment policy directed against China—of course, the premise is that f U.S. leaders believe that such a full-blown policy has become necessary.  On this same trip, Carter made a stop in the Philippines to reassure that country of strong U.S. backing in its South China Sea territorial dispute with China.  Apparently previous statements by the Secretary of State and President Obama himself, combined with a buildup of U.S. troops in the island nation were not sufficient evidence of resolve.

And Carter’s sojourn in India must be seen in the larger context of Washington’s efforts to strengthen its long-standing alliances with South Korea and Japan and to forge cooperative military ties with such former adversaries as Vietnam.

Despite the wishes of some Sinophobes in Washington, we are likely to see a more measured response from India. Delhi has much to lose and little to gain by becoming a cat’s paw ally of the United States against China. That is especially true if Washington is not willing to sever its close ties with India’s arch-enemy, Pakistan. As long as that is the case, Indian leaders and the Indian public will view professions of U.S. loyalty to their country’s vital interests with justifiable skepticism.

Moreover, shrewd Indian policymakers may conclude that the best position for their country is one of constructive neutrality in the growing tensions between the United States and China. Whatever side India would take, it would anger one of those great powers, lose potential benefits, and increase its risk level.

Only if China truly adopted a policy of rogue expansionism is that sober calculation likely to change.  In the meantime, Ash Carter and other American suitors may press their courtship of India, but they are likely to come away disappointed.

Author: Ted Galen Carpenter

美拉拢印度反华或将失望

美媒:美拉拢印度反华或失望 除非中国大肆扩张

【环球军事报道】美国卡托研究所网站4月14日文章,原题:华盛顿拉拢印度当反华同盟? 国防部长阿什顿·卡特刚结束对印度的访问。此行引发众多猜测。特别是在中国,那里的意见领袖指出,这是卡特担任防长不久以来二度访印,且他取消了原定的北京之行。此举恐怕表明,美国正毫不掩饰地针对中国,支持北京的潜在地缘战略竞争对手之一。

 

卡特此行签署的协议更加深了中国人的疑虑。卡特和印度国防部长承诺增加军事领域的后勤合作,特别是海上合作。该协议距两国完全的军事同盟还很遥远,但它延续了过去10年来两国战略关系日益深化的趋势。且美印关系发展的背后动力,似乎就是对中国野心的共同担心。

 

至少,美国表现出了试图构筑针对中国的遏制政策——当然,前提是美国领导人认定这种全面政策必要。卡特此次出访,还在菲律宾停留,向菲方保证在与中国的南海争端问题上美方力挺菲律宾。看起来,以前美国国务卿和奥巴马本人的表态以及美国在这个岛屿国家的扩军,还不足以展现决心。

 

卡特访印须放在更大的背景下来看。这个大背景就是,华盛顿正努力加强与韩日的长期同盟关系,发展与越南这种昔日敌对国家的军事合作。

 

华盛顿一些反华人士对印度寄予期望,但我们可能会看到,新德里方面的反应将较为适度。若印度成为美国的盟友,充当反华的卒子,新德里将损失多、得益少。特别是如果华盛顿不愿切断与印度头号敌人巴基斯坦的密切关系的话。只要这种情况不变,印度领导人和民众就会理所当然地怀疑,美国对待他们国家关键利益的诚意.

此外,精明的印度决策者肯定认定,对他们国家最有利的是在日益紧张的美中之间保持建设性中立。这是因为,不论印度选择站在哪个大国的一边,都会惹恼另一边,从而丧失潜在利益,导致风险水平上升。

 

除非中国采取无所顾忌的扩张政策,否则新德里的这种清醒盘算不太可能改变。与此同时,卡特和其他美方人士或许极力拉拢印度,但他们多半会失望而归。▲(作者泰德·盖伦·卡朋特,乔恒译)

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