China under the second term of President Xi Jinping would deal with issues like the Dokalam standoff with India and the disputed South China Sea "squarely" and face them "head-on" to protect its legitimate interests, a Chinese expert said today. "In the past, we thought we would shelve differences. Now, we will face disputes squarely," said Yuan Peng, Vice President of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relation, during his interaction with journalists here on the outcome of the recent once-in-a-five-year Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). The Congress has endorsed a second five-year term for Xi as party's head and enshrined his ideological thought into the party Constitution. Yuan said China under Xi might deal with issues like Dokalam head-on. The 72-day-long standoff at Dokalam which began over Chinese military's plan to build a key road close to the Indian border in an area claimed by Bhutan ended on August 28 after it stopped the road building.
Both sides pulled back their troops. "So we now face these problems head on, and safeguard our legitimate interests," he said, adding that Beijing might do this in an "incremental way". He also said "Indo-Pacific" being propounded by the US and the quadrilateral mechanism involving India, the US, Australia and Japan projecting India in a big way may become "a kind of trap". He said it is not "wise" for India as it now enjoys balanced relations with the US and China. The US wants to increase the strategic status of India as it is a large country and India also wants to get close to Washington. But smart Indian politicians" will not overlook ties with China, he said, adding that India is "quite cautious" in view of this. He said that there is an unhealthy mentality in the Western world to try and make use of India in order to 'contain' China's rise. Terming India as the most promising country, he said the people of India should be cautious in handling relations with China. Meanwhile, an editorial in the state-run Global Times said the mainstream media in India was obsessed with competing with China on GDP growth and international status. Now they are keen to compare their country to Australia or Japan to see which can curry more favour from the US, it said. After the US began using the term "Indo-Pacific," some Indian media outlets were ecstatic that their country had become an important pillar of this new US strategy", it added.
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