Fuming over Japan's efforts to forge maritime security cooperation with India during the just-concluded visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a state-run Chinese daily on Thursday accused Tokyo of attempting to "encircle" China by building strategic alliances in the neighbourhood.
"With Singh on his four-day visit to Japan, both sides have discussed maritime security cooperation. A few days ago, when Shinzo Abe, Singh's counterpart, visited Myanmar, it was seen as Japan's attempt to complete a "puzzle game" in order to "encircle China," state-run Global Times daily said in its editorial on Thursday.
"Japan's strategy for China drives its activity around China's neighbours, said an editorial titled 'Diplomatic row due to disoriented Japan'.
"But Japan's wishful thinking of encircling China is just an illusion. Besides sneaking a few bargains from its competition with China, Japan does not have the strength to prevail over China's influence in Asia," it said.
The allegation comes as China's attempts to forge close ties in India's neighbourhood were perceived as Beijing's attempt to encircle India.
China is currently hosting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa pouring billions of dollars of aid and investment, sparking concerns in India.
Thursday's editorial is second such comment by Chinese official media over Japan's efforts to forge close ties with India during Singh's visit.
An article in People's Daily two days ago had termed Japanese politicians "petty burglars" for courting India.