Thursday, November 24, 2011

India 'jealous' of China's growing clout, says Chinese state media

Days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, the state-run media here today said India was "jealous" of China's growing influence in Asia and charged it with instigating "small" neighbours for a "gang fight" against this country.

"India jitters at the sight of China gaining prestige in Asia, in particular, in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and takes China's ever-growing regional influence in recent years as a strategic encirclement to target and contain India," Xinhua news agency said in a commentary on its website.

Written in response to an article, "Asia's Giants Colliding at Sea?" by former Defence Minister Jaswant Singh, it said India is living under a "delusion" that China was out to encircle it.

The Xinhua commentary came nearly a week after Singh and Wen met in Bali on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit and agreed that there was enough space and areas for the two Asian giants to work together. Their meeting on November 18 took place against the backdrop of the South China Sea row.

Apparently referring to India's 'Look East' policy consolidating its ties with Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Japan, the commentary said New Delhi is resorting to "instigate" China's neighbours to contain its influence. China had sought "a win-win model when it developed economic and trade relations with its neighbours, including India," it said. "Why India appears so impatient to take more agreeable strategies in its periphery is still beyond understanding..." it added

By currying favour with China's neighbours, in particular, those who have brewed disputes with China, India would assume, it could instigate smaller nations to engage in a fight against China and contain China's growing clout in the region," the commentary said.

"It sounds nothing more than loud jealousy, for the simple reason that China has done what India could not, especially when India perceives that China's influence has reached its doorstep and created a tremendous impact on those who should have banked on India as imagined," it said.

This also explains why India has been living under the "delusion that China lays out a strategic chessboard to lock up and contain India, and thereby every act and every move of China could touch a raw nerve of India," it said.

"Jealousy can sometimes be put in the same breath of inferiority. India could trace its sense of being so self-abased to the brief border war with China in 1960s, when it was beaten by the Chinese army. And India has since eyed China with deep-seated distrust", the commentary alleged.

"The Indian media are always given to wild speculation on what on earth China intends to do. Any move the Dragon takes in the region would in all likelihood vex the Elephant," it said.

In a nutshell, "to grow up to be a real power and stand as a sound competitor, India needs to, first and foremost, break through its own psychological fence," it said.