The US is wooing India to form an ally for its Indo-Pacific strategy, experts said after US President Donald Trump’s criticism against Pakistan’s role in the global fight against terrorism.
“It is very groundless and unfair for Trump to make such a comment,” Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times.
“Pakistan’s support for the US in the past 15 years since 9/11 is the very prerequisite conditions for US troops to be able to combat terrorism on the soil of Afghanistan and it stills provides the essential supply line for approximately 15,000 US soldiers based in Afghanistan,” he said.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday during a daily press briefing that Pakistan has been making huge efforts and sacrifices to combat terrorism, contributing greatly to the international anti-terrorism cause, which deserves affirmation from the international community.
“China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and China is willing to deepen cooperation
with Pakistan in all and every field, creating benefits for the people from the two countries,” he said.
Trump’s attack on Pakistan came after a China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministerial meeting in late December during which diplomats from the three countries agreed to discuss ways to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan.
It could be a desperate move for the US to draw India to its side after realizing China-Pakistan ties have grown
stronger than ever after the ministerial meeting, Zhao said.
Agreeing with Zhao, Qian Feng, a researcher at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies and a senior
fellow of Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, said that the US used to uphold a balanced South Asia strategy between Pakistan and India.
But the balance has been broken lately as India’s power significantly grows in the region and the US accordingly attaches more value to India in order to contain China, Qian said. Such moves will definitely further push Pakistan to China’s side, Qian said.