Geopolitical bias is blinding India to benefits of cooperation with China, a state-run Chinese newspaper said today, underlining that the two sides can cooperate on projects that are not sensitive if historical issues cannot be immediately solved.
“New Delhi is over-concerned about Beijing’s intentions, and there are even critical voices in India against (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s China-friendly remarks,” an op-ed article in the state-run Global Times said.
It said India still views the bilateral relationship with China from the lens of geopolitics and regards Beijing as a strategic rival. Every time China reaches out to strengthen cooperation with countries regarded by India as within its sphere of influence, India worries the cooperation is deliberately targeting it, the article added.
“The reality is China’s expanding cooperation is driven by China’s economic growth. In fact, more and more Chinese enterprises are interested in investing in India. If New Delhi can understand China’s connectivity initiative from the perspective of regional development, this will help enhance mutual trust between the two countries,” it said.
The two sides can cooperate on projects that are not sensitive if historical issues cannot be immediately solved, it said, adding that the steady and sound development of bilateral relations will benefit not only the two countries and peoples, but also the region and beyond.
The article said that Beijing’s infrastructure initiative aims to promote the global economy by enhancing regional connectivity and building cohesive trade networks, and does not target any third party.
“An increasing number of countries welcome the Belt and Road initiative and are willing to hitch a ride on China’s rise,” it said.
India abstained from the last month’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing to highlight its concerns over the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and passes through Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
“Strengthening mutual trust, a prerequisite to deepened cooperation, is a priority at present. More consultations are needed to handle border disputes, and Indian media outlets should avoid misinterpreting China’s regular activities,” it said criticising the Indian media coverage on China.
The Belt and Road (B&R) project initiated by China in 2013 is open and inclusive and any countries, including Japan and India, are welcome to join it, but that does not mean that China needs to agree to any requests they might have, another article in the the Global Times.
“China would be pleased to see Japan’s inclusion in the B&R initiative, but no concessions will be made by China on matters of principle to ingratiate Tokyo,” it said.
China’s B&R initiative has received more praise than ever from the international community as the project has proved its ability to boost local economies in countries like Pakistan, the article said.
“We are willing to see the initiative help build up a cooperation platform for countries along the route, but China does not need to beg any countries, Japan and India included, to join the initiative,” it said, noting that there are more than 60 countries covered in the initiative that represent over 60 per cent of the world’s population.