(N.B. This Editorial first appeared in the English language Global Times y’day, on October 28th, 2020, under the title “Targeting China no cure to woes of the US, India” in an almost identical version. The changes, mainly some additional phrases/sentences here and there in the Chinese version, are shown in italics below, with the words/phrases in the English version dropped or substituted in the Chinese version shown in strike-through format.)
The US and India Tuesday signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation (BECA) after their 2+2 high-level talks, which takes bilateral military cooperation one step forward. Some media outlets and analysts have begun to believe that a US-India military alliance is taking shape. New Delhi has further cozied up to Washington‘s wooing, and strategically tilts toward Washington.
The US Indo-Pacific Strategy aimed at containing China has made some progress. But such progress is on the momentum and psychological level. Not many substantial operations with common goals can be anticipated in US-India interactions. In view of the predictability of actions, China can stay calm, opposing the enhancement of US-India military cooperation on one hand, while rejecting to be blackmailed by such collaboration on the other.
The so-called threat that the US and India feel can only be addressed by the two countries on their own. Ganging up to contain China is no more than a self-deceiving bluff. The US problem is the constant decline of its national competitiveness, which has led to an increasing sense of crisis over China’s rapid development. However, China’s progress is the result of fulfilling the country’s potential and the diligence of the Chinese people, not by forcibly expanding abroad. Hence, the United States has misunderstood the crux of the problem and chosen the wrong solution to solve the problem and by no means can Washington curb that trend with geopolitical tricks. India is not able to offer a hand in this regard.
India has long had strategic
doubts misgivings about China, which have been further shaken by the recent border conflict between the two. However, its proximity with the US cannot be translated into its resources to confront China along the border. India had hoped to put psychological pressure on China by getting close to the US, but it won’t come true anywhere from the Galwan Valley to the Pangong Tso Lake region.
The 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and the US was a meeting that the officials of the two most epidemic-affected countries held at a risk of infection. Such “geopolitical diligence” would have had more practical consequences back a few decades if their target was a country with an ambition of aggressive expansion by force. But the reality is that they chose a wrong target at a wrong time, and made a wrong layout.
China has no intention to engage in geopolitical expansion, and China’s cooperation with the rest of the world cannot be stopped by geopolitical means used by others. The US’ determination to “have a real fight” with China can only be seen if Washington gives up agricultural exports to China, removes McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, GM and the iPhone from the Chinese market, and persuades its closest ally Australia to take the initiative to cut down more than half of its trade with China. These are things that can really convince the world to change its dealings with China.
China enjoys peaceful development and friendly cooperation with the world, and some competitions and conflicts of interest that occasionally happen are not problems at all. China can manage the suspicion and jealousy of some countries, as well as the tricks they play to get more benefits from it.
The US has adjusted its China policy and tried to exploit gains from every possible means. Such a strategic impulse can be explained by its hegemonic logic. But if Washington is serious in waging a new cold war against China, it is bound to meet a dead end. It is under an extreme illusion, seeing the world in its own image. It will be a wonder if it does not hit a wall in the end, as it is difficult to dismount when riding a tiger.
India’s selfish opportunism is exacerbating due to its border disputes with China. Together with its extreme nationalistic opinion among its public, New Delhi is at sea. What does India really want? What goals are realistic and what are not? What can India get by pressuring China together with the US? New Delhi is lost. It seems that New Delhi is being swayed by its feelings (i.e. not going by reason).
Many Indians were moved when Pompeo and Esper paid tribute to Indian soldiers who died in the Galwan Valley. But did the Indians ever think why?
US senior officials have not even paid tribute to the 220,000 Americans who died of COVID-19. Now they come to India to offer condolences to Indian troops at a war memorial. It is nothing but a Greek gift.
China is steadily on its path of peaceful development and safeguards just interests. It does not view India nor even the US as a foe, and we are quite open and frank about it. As some engage in plots or conspiracies, just let them be. They are bound to suffer the consequences. We don’t need to worry, just let the bullet fly for a while to see where it ends up and whom it hits.