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China reacts sharply to Modi’s ‘expansionist’ remark

world Updated: Sep 02, 2014 22:59 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times

China reacted angrily on Tuesday to the Japanese cosying up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that if Japan attempted to form a united front centered on India, it will be “a crazy fantasy generated by Tokyo's anxiety of facing a rising Beijing”.

The comments, in the state-run Global Times tabloid, were in response to Modi’s visit to Japan and his comments on Monday against the forces of expansionism, widely seen as a swipe at China.

“Japanese and Western public opinion views his remarks as a clear reference to China, although he did not mention China by name. This interpretation made some sense because Modi is more intimate to Tokyo emotionally. Therefore, it is perhaps a fact that he embraces some nationalist sentiments against China,” the opinion piece said.

China and Japan have a history of frosty relations over the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku in Japanese) islands in the East China Sea. Beijing is also involved in ongoing tussles with several countries over the ownership of islands in the South China Sea.

The article also pointed out that the Chinese economy was five times the size of India’s and that mutual trust was difficult to build as there was a border conflict between the two countries.

Taking a more subtle tone in another editorial on Monday, the newspaper said, “The Modi administration apparently views Sino-Indian relations as more important than Indian-Japanese relations. Besides, Modi snubbed Japan’s right before the BRICS summit, demonstrating that the Modi government actually gives priority to China in its foreign policy.”