Beijing: China and India need not be rivals and can in fact work together on development issues, a leading Chinese daily said Tuesday.

In an editorial “Congratulations to Modi”, the China Daily said Western rhetoric about China and India “is seldom free from a conception that the two countries are rivals”.

“Yet as two developing countries pestered by wealth and development gaps, China and India can work together when it comes to development,” it said.

It underlined that Beijing and New Delhi have, by and large, managed their differences well over the decades — “proof they do not have to be (rivals)”.

The editorial said on Modi’s election victory and inauguration as India’s new prime minister: “Our best wishes to the people of India and their new, reform-minded prime minister.”

It said a belief in and focus on development like Modi’s “has brought China where it is today, and such a commitment to development can create an economic miracle in the world’s second most-populous country”.

But “Modi is not ‘India’s Deng Xiaoping’, as some have called him, nor is Gujarat, the state which has spearheaded Indian GDP growth with him behind the helm, ‘India’s Guangdong’,” it said.

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