India’s nationalistic media could disrupt China-India ties

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/31 20:18:39

India should consider carrying out an airstrike against China, "ramping up ties with Taiwan" and "renewing support to the Tibetan government-in-exile," said The Times of India in its article on Saturday, "Confront the dragon: Address the China factor in terror's ecosystem." 

Can you imagine a newspaper editorial offered that suggestion to the Indian government? It is a declaration of war. Why is The Times of India so furious? Has China invaded Indian soil? No. It all started from India's bid to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in the UN, which was suspended by China. 

Setting aside the facts over the Azhar case - whether India really understands how rules and procedures of the UN Security Council work, and whether New Delhi did provide solid proof to link Azhar to terrorist activities - such a proposal makes people recall the border war in the 1960s. Next, will history repeat itself when former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered the adoption of the Forward Policy to expand control over the disputed territory? What about the consequences? The Times of India editors should draw some lessons from history.

Hyping nationalist sentiment will inevitably plunge China-India relations. India must prepare to sacrifice its cooperation with China in bilateral and international fields if it regards China as an enemy. If India adopts such a strategy, it would obviously be irrational since China is stronger than India economically and militarily, and China has taken a restrained attitude and is promoting cooperation and mutual trust with India. 

The Modi administration is not silly. Today's China-India ties don't come easily. It benefits both sides' development. But the latest suggestions made by The Times of India could drag ties back to the state of war in the 1960s. It is absurd for a mainstream Indian media outlet to do so. Nationalism in India media has gone too far. 

The Times of India editors were clearly inspired by the US. On Thursday, the US introduced a resolution in the UN Security Council to get Azhar listed as a terrorist, a move to drive a wedge between Beijing and New Delhi. But India failed to realize it. "The US move to put pressure on China is welcome," said the newspaper.

However, the media's outrage against China is exactly what the US is delighted to see. Remotely controlling the situation in Asia, and stirring up trouble between China and its neighboring countries will not only contain the rise of China, but also guarantee the global hegemony of the US. Plus, if war erupts, US arms manufacturers can make a big fortune. By then, can India really count on US assistance? 

For whatever reason, Indian media should not make such irresponsible and irrational remarks. Differences do exist between China and India. But major progress has also been made, thanks to years of efforts from the two governments. It is time for Indian media to control its nationalistic sentiment. Hyping the gap will only destroy the larger picture of China-India ties.


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