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‘West trying to drive wedge but China, India have consensus’

world Updated: May 26, 2016 06:50 IST

BEIJING: 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 will attend a series of bilateral meetings with China’s top 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 what it termed the Western media’s focus on the differences between the two countries. “But 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.

Itadded: “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 G wad ar sea port, 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 that “…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.

The Xinhua piece criticised Western media in sharp language.

“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.

First Published: May 26, 2016 06:50 IST