Why India wants to avoid having to choose between China and Japan


Despite recent moves to strengthen its ties to Tokyo, the authorities in New Delhi have strong reasons to want to keep a balance between Asia’s big three.

In recent months there has been a determined effort by Japan, and its many friends resident in India, to bring these two Asian giants closer and close ranks against the third and increasingly assertive Asian giant.

The Doklam crisis gave Japan a great opportunity to win goodwill in India and it seized the opportunity with both hands by becoming only one two countries, alongside the United States, that openly supported India during the stand-off.

Suddenly editorials and commentaries in India are waxing eloquent about a new strategic relationship to counter China. We may be jumping to conclusions a bit too hastily.

Following Abe’s visit, India extended a tender to supply its navy with submarines by a month to allow new bidders to enter the fray.

Many commentators suggested this extension would allow the Japanese combine of Mitsubishi and Kawasaki to offer a bid to supply their Soryu class submarines.

The vessels are Japan’s largest and first air-independent propulsion submarines. Indian naval officers who have been aboard them say they are state-of-the-art equipment, with a price tag to match at US$1.5 billion each.

Read more at South China Morning Post