India is trying to undermine China’s efforts to maintain close ties with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, the official media here said Tuesday and warned New Delhi that Beijing will fight back if its core interests are violated. “…It is India that has been treating South Asia and the Indian Ocean as its backyard with a hard-line manner. Its uneasiness toward Beijing’s growing influence in the region is obvious,” an article in the state-run Global Times said, referring to critical reports in the Indian media about Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan’s visit to Sri Lanka and Nepal.
“For instance, New Delhi is one of the crucial reasons why China and Bhutan, which is controlled by India economically and diplomatically, have not yet established diplomatic relations,” the article said.
“India’s vigilance against China has also affected Sri Lanka and Nepal’s relations with Beijing. Even if they are trying to balance between the two giant neighbours, New Delhi still regards their neutrality as a pro-Beijing policy,” it said.
“China hopes India can understand the pursuit of China and regional countries for common development, and be part of it. However, New Delhi doesn’t share this thinking, instead seeking to balance China,” it said.
“If such tendencies in India continue, China will have to fight back, because its core interests will have been violated. This is not what we hope for, but the ball is in India’s court,” it said.
The article also said whenever a top leader from India’s neighbouring countries visits China, the Indian media would hype that India is losing them or “China’s emerging weight in South Asia will be New Delhi’s new threat”. “Most of India’s peripheral countries are also Beijing’s neighbours. Promoting stable relations with surrounding nations plays a vital role in any country’s own domestic development. New Delhi should stop being extremely sensitive toward each and every move between China and its neighbours,” it said.
“Sri Lanka and Nepal are actually looking forward to joint projects with China, given their poor infrastructure,” it said, adding when an increasing number of Chinese companies get established in these countries, it is inevitable for Beijing to boost defence collaboration with them to “protect not only China’s, but also the region’s interest”.
“So far, the Indian government is confused when it comes to policies toward China. It seems that New Delhi is attempting to find a way, including intensifying its communication with the Dalai Lama, to display its strength and leverage in order to put pressure on or counterbalance Beijing,” it said referring to participation of the Tibetan spiritual leader in an international Buddhist seminar in Bihar.