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US partnering with India to contain China

Washington: Ahead of the State Visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, an influential American think-tank has said that the United States is partnering with emerging powers like India to contain the Communist nation.

"The United States has already started partnering with an emerging power that shares a long border with China as it moves to open a special relationship with India," said Jessica Mathews, president, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"The biggest motivation for Washington`s engagement with New Delhi — even though it`s not talked about — is the hope that India can help balance China`s rising power," she said.

A day earlier, The New York Times reported that China has quietly expanded its area of influence in Central Asia. Several of China`s neighbors in recent past have expressed concern over recent aggressiveness in Chinese behavior.

"The ultimate answer of whether the United States will try to contain or cooperate with China is mostly up to Beijing. One year ago, Washington was looking at the Sino-American relationship very differently and more positively," Mathews said.

"In 2010, the world witnessed a series of moves by China that seemed to suggest a 180-degree turn — certainly in tone, but also in real political choices. China`s assertiveness in the South China Sea and its bullying behavior after the Japanese arrested a Chinese trawler captain in disputed waters in the East China Sea were particularly notable," she said.

"Most importantly, China has been totally unwilling to deal with North Korea`s provocative behavior. This was clear both after Pyongyang was implicated in the sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean warship, and more recently when tensions flared on the Korean peninsula after North Korea carried out a deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island in November. China is not stepping up to its responsibility," Mathews said.

Despite the assertions made by eminent American experts like Mathews and others, both India and the United States have strongly refuted observations that New Delhi and Washington are joining hands to contain Beijing.

Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama have said that there is enough space in the world for a peaceful rise of China and India.

The visit of the Chinese President to Washington comes within two months of India visit of both Obama and Hu Jintao.

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