Chinese state media on Wednesday said the western press was attempting to drive a wedge between India and China by hyping the issue of competition between the neighbours.
Quoting visiting Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, official news agency Xinhua said his visit was the beginning of a “new dance between the elephant and the dragon.”
The opinion piece was published a day before Mukherjee‘s bilateral meetings with top Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping.
The visit, it said, was set to “open a new chapter in the development of bilateral relations and yield meaningful results for regional peace and stability”.
The opinion piece warned about the role that the western media was apparently playing to focus on the differences between the two countries.
“Some Western media have attempted to drive a wedge into China-India relations by hyping up competition between the two Asian giants,” the Xinhua piece said.
It added: “One of the latest targets of their smear campaign is a New Delhi-Tehran deal on developing Iran’s southern port of Chabahar. The seaport is about 100 km from Pakistan’s Gwadar seaport, which is co-developed by China. Those media claim the Elephant-Dragon rivalry is unavoidable. Such hype is both untrue and harmful”.
Professor Song Dexing with the influential Chinese People’s Liberation Army University told state media : “India’s diplomatic and military interactions with other nations is normal. I don’t think India’s actions like signing of the Chabahar port project are targeted at China”.
“The two sides have reached consensus even on their thorniest issue -- the border dispute. India seeks a "fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the question," and China is committed to working with India to accelerate the negotiation and solve the issue at an early date,” it said.
Criticising western media in sharp language, the Xinhua piece said: “Yet the distorted coverage of China-India ties lays bare a deep and unfounded bias against China among Western media. Some just cannot wait to label any nation that has competition with Beijing as China's rival. Such confrontation-addicted reporting speaks volumes for their untold intentions,” it said.
“For the sake of global peace and stability, it is high time that those irresponsible Western media stopped starting fires and stoking flames and began to cover today's world, particularly those leading developing countries, without tinted glasses and a hidden agenda,” it said.