BEIJING: Contending that China was not interested in "geopolitical competition" and had "plenty of interests" in common with India, a leading Chinese daily known for its sharp views on India hit out at Japan to observe that "Sino-Indian ties can in no way be counterbalanced by the Japan-India friendship” and dismissed interpretation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on expansionism as a "media hype".
It underlined that Sino-Indian ties "can in no way be counterbalanced by the Japan-India friendship”, the English-language daily, which is published by the iconic People's Daily group and is largely read by foreigners and expatriates, said.
It reminded that Chinese President Xi Jinping will be paying a state visit to India later this month. “If Japan attempts to form a united front centred on India, it will be a crazy fantasy generated by Tokyo's anxiety of facing a rising Beijing,” it warned.
“Japanese and Western public opinion views his (Modi's) remarks as a clear reference to China, although he did not mention China by name,” the Global Times said in its editorial headlined “Modi-Abe intimacy brings scant comfort” referring to the close rapport Modi enjoys with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. “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,” it stated.
Stating that rationality, policy and strategy of a big country are shaped by its national interests, it said that “as a defender of India's national interests, Modi is predicted to make some remarks suitable for media hype, but he has avoided naming China directly”.
“China's GDP is five times that of India's. Mutual trust between Beijing and New Delhi, facing strategic pressure from the north, is difficult to build as there is also an unresolved border conflict between the two,” the editorial said.
“But India has proved it is a rational country, displaying an independent foreign policy and loathing being an appendix of any particular power. Plus, India cherishes peace.”
It also pointed out that the consensus between China and India has become stronger by “not letting border issues shadow a bilateral relationship”.
“The positive India-China relationship has also created conditions for rapport between India and Pakistan,” it said.
According to the daily, the increasing intimacy between Japan and India will bring “at most psychological comfort to the two countries”.
“What is involved in China-India relations denotes much more than the display of the blossoming personal friendship between Modi and Abe. After all, Japan is located far from India.”
Stating that “Abe's harangue on the Indo-Pacific concept makes Indians comfortable”, it emphasised that it is South Asia where India has to make its presence felt.
“However, China is a neighbour it (India) can't move away from. Sino-Indian ties can in no way be counterbalanced by the Japan-India friendship,” the editorial said.
“Both as new emerging countries and members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia India, China, South Africa), China and India have plenty of interests in common. Geopolitical competition is not the most important thing for the two countries, at least at present.”