China said on Thursday that India and Japan should work for partnership rather than form an alliance, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe prepared to discuss bilateral defence and security ties. Meanwhile, a Chinese daily has said that close ties between New Delhi and Tokyo posed no "grave threat" to Beijing.
Beijing also hoped that India-Japan relations will be conducive for regional peace and stability.
Abe is on a two-day official visit to India. Both countries are also expected to discuss their joint role in the India-Pacific regions where China is increasingly becoming assertive.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was waiting for the outcome of the meeting between the two leaders in Ahmedabad.
"What is in their discussion, we should wait for the detailed readout. We advocate that regional countries should stand for dialogue without confrontation and work for a partnership instead of an alliance," Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
"We also stay open and welcome to the normal development of the relations between the countries in the region. We also hope that their relations will be conducive to regional peace and stability and can play a constructive role in this regard," Hu said.
The growing ties between India and Japan worries Beijing, which sees the partnership as a design to counter it.
Another report quoted a Chinese daily as saying that close ties between New Delhi and Tokyo posed no "grave threat" to Beijing.
China has always been wary of growing proximity between India and Japan with whom it has territorial disputes. The state-run Chinese media has often been critical of fast developing ties between India and Japan.
An op-ed in the Global Times said "the India-Japan intimacy is more like a contrivance" and both were "are unlikely to challenge China without giving it a serious thought".
It said China would never follow India and Japan "who have somewhat lost themselves".
"Under the international relations logic of the 21st century, closer India-Japan ties won't pose grave threats to China because many of their emotional moves to console each other won't produce any real effects in challenging China.
"A strong China has the confidence that no Asian country can substantially challenge China's national security nor can they by grouping together. China has been in the core of economic cooperation in Asia. Geopolitics is unlikely to go against the geo-economic situation."
The newspaper said after the Doklam border row, Indian experts and media have emphasised the need to forge deeper ties with the US and Japan to counter China.
"This has exposed the vulnerable feeling of the Indian strategic circle in front of China," the article said.
"They want to encourage themselves by calling for India's alliance with the US and Japan to showcase India's strategic potential to China. This suits the desperate needs of Indian society's mentality."
"As long as Chinese society is mentally strong enough, calls in the Indian and Japanese media for them to draw closer will be in vain. India and Japan are unlikely to form a military and political alliance with the US.
"China's vast trade with Japan and India greatly dwarfs bilateral trade between India and Japan. Given this, Tokyo and New Delhi are unlikely to challenge China without giving it serious thought."
The daily added: "China wants to solve problems when it has disagreements with India on specific issues. China won't actively seek strategic confrontation with India or Japan." IANS