Indian attitude towards China must change

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Indian soldiers stand guard near the site of Thursday's suicide bomb attack in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district February 15, 2019. Reuters

A suicide bomb blast hit Indian security forces in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14, killing 44 and injuring dozens. The international community, including China, strongly condemned the deadly terror attack.

Venting their anger, some Indian media outlets directed their ire at China, blaming Beijing for offering protection to the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which claimed responsibility for the attack. They impulsively demanded India downgrade diplomatic and economic relations with China. Focusing their reports on China instead of the terror attack, some Western media also took the opportunity to drive a wedge between China and India.

India has long accused Pakistan of supporting terrorist organizations based in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to launch terror strikes against India. However, Islamabad denies any link with terrorism and has emphasized it’s a bigger victim of terrorism.

Jaish-e-Mohammed has been listed by the United Nations as a global terrorist group, and as such, India wants the UN to designate its leader Masood Azhar as a terrorist.

It’s well-known that China firmly opposes and condemns all forms of terrorist activities. China has shown sympathy to India every time it has suffered terrorist attacks and has supported India’s anti-terrorism measures.

The UN follows strict procedures to list terrorist organizations and individuals, so India shouldn’t willfully ignore that to satisfy its own demands. China also suffered setbacks before successfully having the Xinjiang separatist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement banned by the UN, although its demand to blacklist certain individuals has still not been met.

It’s noticeable that the Indian government didn’t link the terror attack to China after Thursday’s attack. But some Indian media groundlessly targeted China, showing radical nationalism. Nationalism is easily fanned in India and it’s fair to say spoiled by the West, India is one of the most arrogant nationalist countries in Asia.

With strained relations, crisis erupts now and then between India and Pakistan. China hopes to broker friendly cooperation with India while also maintaining a sound relationship with Pakistan. India wants China to stand with it over the India-Pakistan row, otherwise China is seen as unfriendly. India cannot force China to do so, which frustrates some Indians, but it’s not China’s fault.

As the US considers India a chess piece with which to check China while Indian government has been maintaining its strategic autonomy. However, extreme nationalism in Indian media will affect India’s evaluation of its own relations with China. China respects India’s interests and feelings and has never been provocative toward India. However, public opinion in India often targets China, putting the two countries at odds.

Often there are calls to “punish China” and “boycott Chinese products”. This is not the attitude that New Delhi is supposed to take toward a country whose GDP is four or five times that of India. The power gap between China and India is much larger than that between China and the US, yet India is more arrogant toward China than China is toward the US.

As a mainstream Chinese media, we reiterate that China respects India’s interests and rights, will firmly support India’s efforts in countering terrorism, and be persistent in developing friendly cooperation with India. Meanwhile, we hope the Indian media will abandon radical nationalism, objectively view China-India relations and promote rational development of bilateral relations.

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