Wen slams Indian media for sensationalising border issue

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi, Beijing | Updated: Dec 18 2010, 06:15am hrs
Faced with negative headlines on the outcome of his talks with the Indian leadership, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was on Friday sharply critical of the Indian media, saying it was causing damage to bilateral ties. This came even as Chinas official media and think tanks projected a positive view of Premier Wen Jiabaos just-concluded India visit, skipping any mention of the omission of references to Tibet and Taiwan in the joint statement.

Winding up his three-day visit in New Delhi, Wen told a group of editors and scholars before emplaning for Pakistan that he understood that the press in India had freedom but it should play a role in promoting friendship.

Citing the Indian medias coverage of the situation on the Sino-Indian border, the Chinese leader said that not a single shot had been fired nor had there been any exchanges in border areas between the troops. Still, the boundary question has repeatedly been sensationalised by the media after which leaders of the two countries have had to repair the damage and harm, he said.

His advise to the media was that it should play a more active role in enhancing friendship. A good neighbour is a blessing. We must be good neighbours, Wen emphasised. Underlining the importance of medias role, Wen said that in his eight years as Premier he had given only one interview to a departing foreign journalist, who was from India.

In some ways, Wens visit to India is like no other in the recent years in terms of positive coverage it generated occupying prime space in Chinas state-run television and print media, according to analysts.

The Chinese think tanks also sought to insist that the trip was aimed at clarifying Beijings readiness to pursue a policy of addressing mutual concerns.

Trade target set at $100 billion is the banner headline in the official China Daily which devoted two pages to exclusive coverage of developments related to Wens visit as well as success stories of Indians settled in Beijing.

The daily Global Times headlined its front page story Sino-Indian ties hailed, while Peoples Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of China, featured its story saying Chinese premier, Indian PM reach consensus on bilateral, international issues.