Beijing, Oct 16: A state-run Chinese daily has urged Beijing to prevent India from ‘reckless attempts in confronting China’ after it inked a pact with Vietnam to explore oil in the South China Sea.
‘Both countries clearly know what this means for China,’ the English language Global Times, which in the past has taken a hard line on India, said in a commentary referring to the New Delhi-Hanoi agreement.
‘China may consider taking actions to show its stance and prevent more reckless attempts in confronting China.’
It noted that India was willing to fish in the troubled waters of the South China Sea so as to ‘accumulate bargaining chips on other issues with China’.
China, the daily said, needs to respond with ‘firm retaliatory measures’.
India has its ambitions in the region, it said, but its national strength does not provide solid support for such ambitions — yet. Furthermore, this is not India’s urgent task in building itself into a great power, the paper observed.
India is just poking its nose where it does not belong.
The Global Times was unsparing of Vietnam too.
Hanoi signed the agreement with New Delhi just a day after it signed a deal in Beijing on ground rules to resolve maritime disputes.
‘It is hard to tell if this shows a double-dealing mentality from Hanoi, or a disagreement among Vietnam’s top decision-makers.
‘India probably has deeper considerations in its regional strategy than simply getting barrels of oil and gas,’ it said.
There is strong political motivation behind the exploration projects. China’s vocal objections may not be heeded. It called on China to take practical actions, including those to make the project fall through.
China should denounce this agreement as illegal. Once India and Vietnam initiate their exploration, China can send non-military forces to disturb their work and cause friction to halt the project, it suggests.
China should let the two countries know that economic profits via such methods can hardly match the risk, it said.
Indian society was not prepared for ‘a fierce conflict’ with China on the South China Sea issue, it said.
However, it also noted that a rising China inevitably needed to have some degree of tolerance.