China-Bangladesh ties may put pressure on India to rethink South Asia strategy, says Beijing media

Beijing: Closer ties between China and Bangladesh may put pressure on New Delhi to rethink its strategy in South Asia and encourage it to better its relations with Beijing, Chinese media reported on Wednesday.

However, state-run Global Times in its editorial did not elaborate what India's strategy in the region was.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Dhaka on 14 October, before leaving for India to attend the two-day Brics summit in Goa from 15 October.

PM Modi and President Xi Jinping shake hands in the G20 summit, 2016. Reuters

PM Modi and President Xi Jinping shake hands in the G20 summit, 2016. Reuters

According to the daily, India need not be "jealous" of increasing ties between Dhaka and Beijing and it was wrong to think that Xi's trip to Bangladesh was "to snatch the South Asian country from the embrace of New Delhi".

Xi's visit to Bangladesh will be the first by a Chinese President in 30 years.

"India will not need to be jealous of an increasingly close relationship between Beijing and Dhaka, because the improvement of local infrastructure and the overall economic ecology in Bangladesh will create favourable external conditions for connecting with markets in India, China and Southeast Asia," the editorial said.

"However, it would not necessarily be a bad thing if an increasingly close relationship between China and Bangladesh puts some pressure on New Delhi to rethink its strategy in this region and encourages it to put more effort into improving relations with China during the upcoming meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit."

The report said India thinks that China is trying to carve out a "pre-eminent role" for itself in South Asia to "contain" India — a dominant country in the region.

"Some Indian people may mistakenly flatter themselves when they think China's Belt and Road initiative is aimed at balancing India's influence."

"But such views are too simplistic," it added.

"The initiative, connecting more than four billion people in 65 countries, is not about marking Beijing's strategic circle on the subcontinent of South Asia, but instead represents an open-ended initiative that welcomes the participation of numerous other countries."

Updated Date: Oct 12, 2016 13:22 PM

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