Washington/Beijing: The stance adopted by India about the Indo-Pacific region in the Shangri-La Dialogue has been appreciated by the United States as well as China. However, there is a difference in the tone of appreciation shown by both the countries. US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis has specially appreciated the Indian Prime Minister’s statement about opposing the tendency to suppress other countries through debt burden. Whereas, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has emphasized and appreciated the Indian demand for cooperation, instead of military competition.
United States has renamed its Pacific command as the Indo-Pacific command. By doing this, the United States has given clear indications of change in its policy. This is a message to China that the United States shall henceforth consider the region from the Indian Ocean up to the Pacific Ocean as a collective whole. At the same time, it is clear that the United States is giving prime importance to the Indian contribution in this region. In view of this, US Secretary of Defence, Mattis attracted attention to some statements of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister, Modi had taken a clear stance in the Dialogue saying that, ‘Instead of suppressing countries by a debt burden, those countries must be made stronger. There should be increased trade cooperation in this region and not military competition.’ The US Secretary of Defence delivered a blow to China by appreciating this statement of the Indian Prime Minister.
Secretary Mattis warned that the countries who borrow, should be aware that their sovereignty is compromised when they do so. Since the last few years, China with its financial might, is distributing loans to poorer countries. There have been accusations made that lending to those countries, which clearly have no capacity of repayment, is part of the Chinese conspiracy.
Referring to this Chinese conspiracy, the US Secretary of Defence issued a warning to all the countries and expressed satisfaction that the Indian Prime Minister had also pointed out the same thing. While the United States appreciated the Indian Prime Minister’s speech, China has interpreted the speech to its own convenience. There should be no military competition, but only cooperation in the region. Prime Minister Modi had said that if India and China come together, they have the capacity to change the world. Referring to this statement, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying welcomed it. ‘The statements of Prime Minister Modi are appreciable, they convey to the world that India and China are capable of resolving all the bilateral disputes by themselves,’ claimed Chunying .