Ordinary Indians are inferior, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not visit Arunachal Pradesh and the Indian government was reluctant to admit that the widening trade gap with China was its own fault, a caustic Chinese state media article said on Tuesday.
Two days before Modi’s arrival in China, the article was published on Tuesday in the Communist Party of China (CPC) organ People’s Daily-run, Global Times newspaper. It claimed New Delhi could pull down bilateral ties to the level of “vicious competition” and that India was trying to exploit the opportunities of economic development created by China in South Asia.
The opinion piece was written by Hu Zhiyong with the respected Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. It cannot be assumed that this savagely critical opinion is universally held in the corridors of power in Beijing but the texture and timing of the write-up does throw light on how India and Modi are looked at, at least among some in the strategic circles in China.
Hu wrote that for diplomatic ties to improve, India has to do the following: “…Modi should no longer visit the disputed border region in pursuit of his own political interests, nor should he deliver any remarks that infringe on the consensus on bilateral ties. Meanwhile, the Indian government should completely stop supporting the Dalai Lama, and stop making the Tibetan issue a stumbling block to the Sino-Indian relationship”.
Modi, the opinion piece said, had been “…playing little tricks over border disputes and security issues, hoping to boost his domestic prestige while increasing his leverage in negotiations with China”.
Hu claimed if the Prime Minister was a trickster, the ordinary people of India were no better.
“Due to the Indian elites’ blind arrogance and confidence in their democracy, and the inferiority of its ordinary people, very few Indians are able to treat Sino-Indian relations accurately, objectively and rationally,” it said.
And, in a point, that could well be said of some opinions held in the Chinese media, it added: “Worse, some Indian media have been irresponsibly exaggerating the conflicts between the two sides, adding fuel to the hostility among the public”.
On the ever-widening trade imbalance between the two countries, Hu wrote:
“When it comes to the economic ties, despite the fact that China has already become India’s largest trading partner, India’s trade deficit with China keeps rising sharply. New Delhi is reluctant to admit the widening trade gap is its own fault, nor is it willing to examine its own economic structure and the quality of its exports to China. Instead, it has been repeatedly accusing or directing its anger at China.”