Indian media agencies harm themselves in playing up strife between China and India

21:12, December 23, 2009      

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A chief of the Indian Air Force once said that the Chinese Air Force is not a threat to India. Indian leaders including the prime minister and foreign ministers have expressed similar opinions on different occasions. However, some meddlesome Indian media agencies enjoy spreading "China threat" signals and immerse in numerous lies that fool themselves and others.

Over recent years, many Indian media agencies have used malicious means in order to attract attention and pursue political or economic interests, and the China-India relationship has become the main victim. The so-called "dragon versus elephant" between China and India has always been a hot topic that India's domestic media agencies are fond of reporting. The China-focused reports made by Indian media agencies are generally negative. Many media agencies even focus only on the negative news occurring in China and make a big fuss over small details. Moreover, many Indian media agencies have even stirred up trouble in terms of China-India relations and played up the so-called "competition" between China and India, displaying an attitude that a sound relationship between the two countries is fearful. The stereotyped reports, such as 'China seeks hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region' and 'a war between India and China is unavoidable', have repeatedly appeared in Indian media. If those who cannot access the truth read such reports, they will perhaps think that China-India relations are on the verge of war.

It is natural that there is some competition between China and India in some areas, particularly in the economic field, and it is not strange that there are different opinions and viewpoints on China-India relations because China and India are both major emerging developing countries and they still have border disputes as neighbors.

However, media agencies, especially mainstream ones that have a huge impact on public opinion, should follow an objective and impartial principle when reporting news involving both India and China. When they comment on China-India relations, they should have a rational and responsible attitude instead of losing stance and basic principles that news media agencies should have. They stir up trouble at will, and even distort facts and fabricate stories in order to create sensationalize and attract public attention.

Objectively, in the current international state of affairs, the competition between China and India is no longer a "zero-sum game," and does not have to be a situation where one side needs to fall for the other to rise. The border disputes between the two countries are unlikely to be solved through a war, instead, talks and negotiations are the best solution and is in the fundamental interests of the two countries.

In terms of the development models the two countries have currently selected, it is inappropriate to simply judge whose development model is better or assert which country will prevail in future competition. It is worth noting that each of the two countries have advantages that the other lacks. Therefore, the most important thing for them to do is to complement and help each other and learn from each other, which is the only way to achieve their common development and jointly promote Asia's economic prosperity. People in India's political circle are clearly aware of this and believe that cooperation is an irresistible trend.

Nevertheless, Indian media agencies have turned a blind eye to this trend and sought petty profits by sacrificing India's national interests. If this situation continues, it will have an immeasurable negative impact on the relations between India and its neighboring countries.

The writer is a professor at the School of International Studies under Peking University
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