A Communist Party-backed newspaper in Beijing has guardedly praised India’s reported willingness to help China secure its shipping routes in the Indian Ocean.
In an editorial published on Monday, the Global Times said Beijing hoped that Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju meant what he was recently quoted saying about assisting China to safeguard sea lanes. “More important will be whether or not India’s words turn into action,’’ the editorial said. “It will take time for India’s true intentions to become clear.”
The editorial maintained a mildly lecturing tone and said that scpeticism over India’s military build-up, especially in the northeast, is not groundless. Last year, the Chinese media had circulated views accusing India of a desire for ‘hegemony’. Monday’s editorial also referred to India seeking ‘dominance’.
“India needs to make clearer its military intentions to ease the nerves of its neighbours. A promise of protecting the public good in the region is a good start,’’ it said. “Worry about China competing for dominance of the Indian Ocean runs deep inside India. Such worries are unnecessary.”
The editorial was published on a day when the Chinese media quoted analysts suggesting that US defence deals with East Asian nations are targeted at strategically encircling China with US-made anti-missile systems. The China Daily quoted an article by an Air Force Colonel saying a crescent-shaped ring encircles China.