KOLKATA: Together with partners like India, the USA is trying to strike a balance in engaging with China and persuading it from carrying out any coercive activities in the region, according to an expert on international relations.
"The role of the United States is to ensure that we all are pursuing a process of engagement with China that leads to constructive relationships and economic cooperation," Nicholas Szechenyi, deputy director of Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, told reporters here today.
"On the other hand, we have to signal that China's military ambitions, coercive activities can potentially destabilise the region which is not in our interests," he said.
Szechenyi, whose research focuses on US-Japan relations and US–East Asia relations, rejected the notion that America is trying to contain China.
"We are not try to contain China the way we tried to contain Soviet Union. And we welcome its peaceful rise," he said, adding it is "quite natural" for US-Japan, Japan and India to enhance defence cooperation because that sends a very strong signal of coordination and cooperation in the region for regional stability.
The expert claimed that China's activities in East China Sea, Indian Ocean and land reclamation in South China Sea has increased the demand for US engagement in the region.
"China has been engaging in a particular behaviour, particularly in maritime domain which raises questions about what its long-term ambitions are strategically in the region," he said adding that the question is how to manage China's rise.
It is not clear whether it wants to socialise, follow the rules and norms of the international community or whether it wants a new set of rules for the region, Szechenyi said.