Beijing: Hailing India for keeping “neutral stand” over the South China Sea issue despite pressure from the US and Japan, state-run Chinese media today said there are some contradictions and frictions between the two nations but the overall bilateral relations have been developing smoothly.
“When it comes to security, after the final award of the South China Sea arbitration was announced, the Indian government has kept a neutral stance despite the pressure from Washington and Tokyo,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.
Calling for “solid step forward” to improve relations, the article said “admittedly, there are some contradictions and frictions between China and India, but the overall bilateral relations have been developing smoothly”.
It also flayed Indian media for “going too far” to blame China for blocking India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and linking last week’s Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to India to the South China Sea issue.
“Indian media has spared no effort in linking Wang’s visit to the South China Sea issue and the country’s failure in joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” it said. Last month an international tribunal struck down China’s claims over the South China Sea based on historic rights, pushing Beijing on the back foot in its maritime dispute with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan over the area.
“Regarding the NSG case, Indian media has gone too far, for it is not at all a problem between Beijing and New Delhi. It was the US, not China, who made the relevant rules for NSG membership, and India failed to meet the criteria of entering the club. A dozen NSG members are now opposing India’s bid, thus, it does not make sense for Indian media to point an accusing finger at China,” it said.
“The two nations may have discussed the issue during Wang’s visit, and it is possible for both sides to clarify their own ideas, stances and policies over the matter. But the conjecture that Wang was trying to win India’s support over the South China Sea by helping New Delhi with the NSG membership doesn’t make sense at all,” it said.
This is the second article in as many days by the daily to criticise Indian media. On August 15, another article blamed the Indian media for “stirring up negative sentiments” against China by highlighting the divergences in the bilateral ties.
“During the Wang’s visit the two sides may have also discussed how to further promote a closer partnership, which was raised during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit,” the article said.
“For the moment, when we talk about Sino-India ties, we tend to use the phrase ‘relations are generally stable without major conflicts’. Yet this should not be the highest expectation we hold for the relationship,” it said.
“Beijing and New Delhi have raised hopes for economic and trade cooperation, but turning them into reality requires wider consensus and more consultations,” it said. Acknowledging problems in the bilateral collaboration on economic and trade issues which “used to be one of the most positive parts of the bilateral relations, it said “joint works in this regard have not been going smoothly in recent years”