Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit here, a state-run newspaper today carried a highly critical article, accusing him of “playing little tricks” over the border dispute and security issues against China to boost his domestic prestige.
“Ever since Modi assumed office, he has taken the initiative to actively develop India’s relationships with Japan, the US, and European countries in no time, in order to promote the country’s poor infrastructure construction and economic development.
“But his diplomatic moves last year have proven that he is a pragmatist, rather than a visionary,” said the article ‘Can Modi’s visit upgrade Sino-Indian ties?’ by Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, published in the state-run Global Times.
Observers say the article in the newspaper, a sister publication of the ruling Communist Party of China, strikes a sour note ahead of Modi’s first visit here from May 14 to 16 after taking over as the Prime Minister.
Citing historical feud and mutual mistrust that stems from geopolitics, the article said the two sides have never established real strategic trust.
“Leaders from both China and India should not only strengthen mutual political trust, but also stick to a series of agreed principles and match their rhetoric with action,” it said.
“In light of this, Modi should no longer visit the disputed border region (Arunachal Pradesh) in pursuit of his own political interests, nor should he deliver any remarks that infringe on the consensus on bilateral ties,” it added.
“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.”
The paper is critical of Modi’s neighbourhood policy.
“Modi has been busy strengthening India’s ties with neighbouring countries to compete with China, while trying to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities for economic development created by China” with its Silk Road projects, it said ahead of Modi’s talks with the Chinese leadership.
“Modi has also been playing little tricks over border disputes and security issues, hoping to boost his domestic prestige while increasing his leverage in negotiations with China,” it added.