India's growing anxiety over China’s presence in South Asia and South East Asia is a reflection of its “inferiority complex” and “loud jealously”, wrote a commentary on Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua on Thursday.
The Indian government was “living under the delusion that China lays out a strategic chessboard to lock up and contain India,” added the commentary, which is the latest of a series of editorials in Chinese state media outlets that have taken a hard line on India following disagreements over ONGC Videsh's cooperation with Vietnam in the disputed South China Sea.
The author of the commentary, in particular, took great offense with a recent article written by former Indian finance, foreign and defence minister Jaswant Singh, entitled “Asia’s Giants Colliding at Sea”, which expressed his belieft that China was focused on “strategic encirclement” in dealing with India and was trying to “defeat the enemy, without ever fighting.”
“It sounds nothing more than a loud jealousy, for the simple reason that China has done what India could not, especially when India perceives that China's influence has well reached to its doorsteps and created tremendous impact on those who should have banked on India as imagined,” said the author Li Hongmei.
“Jealousy can sometimes be put in the same breath of inferiority. India could trace its sense of being so self-abased to the brief border war with China in 1960s, when it was beaten by the Chinese army. And India has since eyed China with deep-seated distrust. The Indian media are always given to wild speculations on what on earth China intends to do. Any move Dragon takes in the region would in all likelihood vex Elephant.
“On this basis, India would be bent on plotting to break through the so-called Chinese encirclement, and Mr. Singh would produce the delusional article conjuring up a picture of two giants colliding at sea.”
While the commentary struck a similar tone to those voiced by a number of Communist Party-run papers, such as the nationalistic Global Times and PLA Daily, the latest comments was particularly unusual due to the fact that Xinhua was an official government news agency, while the commentary was posted prominently on the front page of its website.
The article also ran just days after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Bali to inform him that the ONGC Videsh's projects were conducted purely on a commercial basis, and did not mean that India was taking sides with Vietnam.
Since the meeting, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had also given statements, which played down the differences between both nations. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin said this week that there was “no power in the world that can prevent the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.”
Related: China's Economic Relations