India is clearly targeting China by seeing it as an ‘imaginary enemy’ by frequently holding military exercises along the Chinese border, a leading Chinese daily, which invariably represents the views of the Chinese government, said on Monday.
The Global Times noted that after a “rare integrated military exercise” in Ladakh bordering China last week, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force would conduct a joint military exercise in Arunachal Pradesh next month. China claims that the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to it and calls it South Tibet.
The newspaper observed that ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, his personal popularity has reached a new peak within his country. ”It seems that the tough leader has tasted the sweetness of such a practice and hopes to continue hyping nationalism by aiming at other countries,” it added.
The newspaper said India was experiencing a severe economic downturn. In the second quarter of 2019, the country’s GDP growth decreased to an over five-year low of 5 per cent, way below analysts’ expectations. In 2018, many economists believed that India had the potential to become the world’s fastest-growing economy. Nonetheless, the growth rate of India’s economy dropped drastically from 8 per cent in the same quarter of the last fiscal year to 5 per cent, making the prediction unlikely to come true, it added.
The daily said that against this backdrop, it was more apparent that Modi’s recent moves were a bid to cover up domestic troubles as well as consolidate his public support. ”Be as it may, as China-India relations are entering a crucial phase, Modi also expects a stable bilateral relationship with China, which is a significant partner of India in various domains,” the newspaper said.
It noted that in 2018, the trade between the two countries reached $955.4 billion. Chinese venture capital funds in India pumped in more than $5 billion, surpassing investments from the US and Japan. ”Worsening ties with China amid the economic downturn will bring India nothing but adverse impacts. The Modi administration is well aware of this,” the daily said and went on to add that Modi’s policies were contradictory.
”His (Modi) administration is loath to give up its cooperative relationship with China on the one hand but does not stop inciting nationalism against China on the other. Such a paradox can never be sustainable. It will only hurt mutual trust and harm India’s own interests,” the daily said.
It claimed that China has been putting efforts in enhancing cooperation with India. Given New Delhi’s concerns over its trade deficit with Beijing, China was adjusting accordingly. ‘’Contradictory policies can solve neither domestic nor diplomatic problems. It is hoped that New Delhi will adopt effective measures, rather than relying on national sentiments, to deal with its issues and get along with China,” the newspaper said.