(From PTI)

As Shinzo Abe begins his crucial visit to India Friday looking to clinch a slew of deals including bullet trains and amphibious defence planes, Chinese media said the Japanese premier is trying to rope in India as part of a strategy to contain China.
Shinzo Abe

“From a strategic perspective, China is an essential factor behind the closer Japan-India relationship,” said an article titled ‘Tokyo’s pursuit of New Delhi may stumble’ published in the state-run Global Times.

“Tokyo is trying to contain and besiege Beijing by every possible means, and Abe will not miss any chance to draw Modi over to his side to counter China,” it said.

The article also said while India for its part is trying to balance its ties between China and Japan which have tenuous relations due to growing regional rivalry, New Delhi is looking to “hitch hike” more concessions.

“New Delhi is quite cautious in handling its relations with Beijing and Tokyo. The Indian government has no intention to take sides between China and Japan, aware that setting itself against Beijing will bring no good to New Delhi.

“India is hoping to hitch hike on China’s rise to obtain more economic benefits, and thus is unwilling to offend the world’s second largest economy. Knowing that China-Japan relationship is far from perfect, the Indian government is cautious in developing ties with Tokyo, so as to leave itself some leeway in handling its relations with Beijing,” it said.

The Indian government prioritises economic development over the need to balance and contain China’s rise, it said adding that by cooperating with Japan, India looks forward to reaping more profits from Japanese enterprises.

“Given its high expectations toward investments from both Japan and China, New Delhi is attempting to strike a balance between the two countries,” it said.

Highlighting China’s concerns over India’s invitation to Japan to take part in the annual Malabar naval exercises along with the US, it said the move has cast a shadow on regional security and stability.

“The India-launched anti-submarine drill was most likely targeting China. New Delhi, annoyed by Beijing’s presence in surrounding areas, invited Tokyo to the drill as a counter measure,” it said.

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