NEW DELHI: AHEAD of its Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to India, state-owned Chinese media has ‘set the agenda’ by advising New Delhi to refrain from “unnecessary entanglement” in the South China Sea imbroglio and instead focus on trade between the two countries.
An opinion piece in the Global Times on Tuesday hinted at trade imbalance between the two countries. “It is puzzling that India is focusing on the South China Sea issue at this moment, a move that might risk unnecessary side effects to Sino-Indian ties and potentially set up obstacles for Indian exporters hoping to increase their presence in China, now the world’s second largest importer [sic],” said the piece in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) mouthpiece, the People’s Daily.
The tabloid quipped that India’s position on the issue might not be important anyway, since dozens of countries had already expressed support for China’s stance. Following the International Court of Justice’s verdict in favour of Philippines against the sovereignty of China, India had asked all parties to abide by the decision given under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and maintain freedom of navigation of sea lanes. A defiant China has refused to even acknowledge the decision.
Wang, who is scheduled to visit India on August 13, is expected to meet Minister of Sushma Swaraj and among other issues, will discuss the impending G-20 summit to be held in China and the BRICS summit to be organised in India.
The tabloid had earlier lashed out at India for expelling three Chinese journalists.