“India is frustrated that China’s rise has captured much of the world’s attention... India likes to brag about its sustainable development but worries that it is being left behind by China... India’s current course can only lead to a rivalry between the two countries... India can’t actually compete with China... India apparently has not yet realised this”.
This is the view from a sarcastic, muscle-flexing editorial published on Thursday in the Global Times, China’s State-run English newspaper launched in April as Beijing’s international mouthpiece.
The nationalist tabloid is affiliated to the official People’s Daily group, which is the voice of the Communist Party.
The editorial, titled ‘India’s unwise military moves,’ was published in reaction to India’s reported deployment of almost 60,000 troops to the border along the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China controversially claims as its own.
Both nations are locked in a decades-old border dispute, with negotiations making slow progress.
The Global Times’ website prominently flashed an online poll conducted on Wednesday, in which 90 per cent participants said they believe India poses a big threat to China and 74 per cent said China should not maintain friendly relations with India after this ‘military provocation’.
“India needs to consider whether or not it can afford the consequences of a potential confrontation with China,” said the editorial, emphasising that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ‘tough posture’ about making no concessions to China on territorial disputes, is ‘dangerous if it is based on a false anticipation that China will cave in’.
The website quoted a military expert, Dai Xun, who said India’s military moves, which he described as ‘plundering a burning house,’ could cast a shadow over bilateral relations while the world is focussed on North Korea’s recent nuclear test.
Analyst Sun Shihai was quoted saying that the deployment could easily cause regional tensions. “China won’t make any compromises in its border disputes with India,” said the paper. “And while China wishes to coexist peacefully with India, this desire isn’t born out of fear’’.