NEW DELHI: Chinese state media has been ramping up its rhetoric against the US’s new India-Pacific strategy saying “imperialism is deeply rooted in Western countries’ political thinking” so Washington better be careful to “not engage in power games with (its) massive investment” in the region.
In an editorial a day after the US announced $113 million in new infrastructure initiatives + in the Indo-Pacific region, the hardline Chinese state-backed publication Global Times, also crowed that this US investment wouldn’t at all affect Beijing’s own One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiatives in the geopolitically strategic region.
“Washington may hope to disrupt the Belt and Road initiative, but it is highly unlikely the US’ $113 million investment initiative will collide with the Belt and Road initiative,” said an editorial in the Global Times, which is run by Communist Party of China (CPC) mouthpiece People’s Daily.
China’s media has also been targeting India – a big part of the US’s Indo-Pacific vision + – saying that for New Delhi, “any benefits from this strategy may be greatly outweighed by the costs” in terms of development. So, India, too, needs to be careful, said the publication last week.
The US is of course pitching to counterbalance China’s OBOR initiatives, which Washington sees as attempting to swamp the region. In fact, the whole reason the US now refers to the region as Indo-Pacific, rather than Asia-Pacific, is to project its counter-front – with India, Japan and Australia – as equal to that of China’s juggernaut.
But what are the US and the West so worried about, wonders the Chinese editorial. That, it believes, has something to do with what it calls the West’s imperialist tendencies.
“What’s important is that China has not interfered in any country’s politics nor sought to expand its sphere of influence. These countries participate in the initiative to expand their foreign cooperation. What are the US and other Western countries worried about? The main reason may be that imperialism is deeply rooted in Western countries’ political thinking and they understand the era differently from emerging countries,” the Chinese editorial posits.
It said that in regions other than the West major powers are independent from each other.
“The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS are obviously more equal than NATO and the G7. The consideration for emerging countries is mutual development and cooperation, not conquest. The Belt and Road’s original intention was not an expedition, but for co-prosperity,” adds the editorial.
The Chinese media outlet, said in another article, that the US, like any other country “is welcome” to invest in the region.
“Any nation, the US included, is welcome to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region, but development programs should be vigilant to mounting strategic confrontation among Indo-Pacific nations,” it said.
The article graciously said that US investment in the Indo-Pacific region would afford US companies more opportunities even if it declines to work with China.
“Benign competition will be conducive to development in the Indo-Pacific region, but we don’t want any development program to evolve into a strategic game among big powers,” said the editorial.