The US will not easily discard its hegemony in the Indian Ocean given its strategic location nor will it tolerate any country to share the hegemony with it and this will lead to frictions in strategic interests between India and the US, according to the state-run Chinese media.
In an op-ed, the Global Times claimed that out of geopolitical causes, such as coping with the “so-called threat” from China, India has escalated collaboration with the US, but there were still many differences between the two countries.
The daily was analysing the US Navy’s announcement last week that it carried out “freedom of navigation” operations within India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) without seeking New Delhi’s consent.
“This is evidently a kind of hegemonic practice. But since both Washington and New Delhi recently have promoted their ties and stepped up cooperation, including in the military, some analysts said their bilateral ties seem to have entered a honeymoon period,” the influential Chinese newspaper said.
It wondered why the Indian government did not immediately respond to the US 7th Fleet’s transit.
Instead, India conveyed its concern to Washington two days after the incident. There were domestic voices in India arguing the country’s response was soft, it claimed.
“New Delhi has always seen itself as a hegemon in the Indian Ocean area, vigilant toward Washington’s military presence and activities in the region. Yet in recent years, to cope with China’s rise, India has tended to become more tolerant toward US naval operations,” the daily added.
Meanwhile, in another editorial on the 11th round of India-China senior commanders’ talks on the standoff in Eastern Ladakh, pointed out that the two sides failed to issue a joint statement, clearly suggesting that it would be challenging for them to iron out differences over disengagement at other friction points.
It noted that the two sides had regularly issued a joint statement after the sixth round of meeting held in September 2020.
Also, the statement from China this time around was issued by the PLA Western Theater Command and not the Chinese Ministry of National Defense.
The latest meeting apparently did not result in an agreement of a full disengagement in other areas as expected.