BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's "China-bashing" ahead of elections will not shake Sino-India ties and there is no need to exaggerate the significance of his remarks, a commentary in a leading state-run Chinese daily said today.
The commentary in the Global Times, which is a flagship publication of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), was titled "Modi's China bashing won't shake Sino-Indian ties". It said the leader's "harsh remarks" will not hamper bilateral ties.
This is the first time after Modi's February 22 remarks in Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as Southern Tibet, figured in Chinese media.
Modi, at a rally in Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday, asked China to shed its "expansionist mindset".
"China should shed its expansionist policy and forge bilateral ties with India for peace, progress and prosperity of both the nations," Modi had said.
China's foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had refuted Modi's remark, saying "China has never waged a war of aggression to occupy any inch of land of other countries".
"Given the neighbourhood relationship and economic interdependence over the years, India and China have more common demands for cooperation rather than confrontation.
Future bilateral relations won't be affected a lot due to changes in leadership. There is no need to exaggerate the significance of Modi's remarks," the commentary said.
Observers here say that Modi's attack on China from Arunachal Pradesh came as a surprise to Chinese government as he visited Beijing two times scouting investments from here to Gujarat besides interacting with top leaders of the CPC.
Most of Chinese investments in India were made in Gujarat mainly due to favourable investment climate.
Besides Modi, his fellow BJP Chief Ministers, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and B S Yeddyurappa, when headed the Karnataka government, visited China seeking investments in their state.
Nitin Gadkari too visited China when he was the President of the BJP.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry was initially reluctant to react to queries from the media on Modi's remarks in Arunachal Pradesh, which officials on both sides say has emerged as a major sticking point in the border talks with Beijing maintaining its claim on Tawang where a 16th century Buddhist Monetary is located.
Today's commentary in the Global Times on Modi's remarks said border issues are a historical knot in China-India bilateral relations.
The commentary referred to the three-week standoff last year at Depsang Valley in Ladakh over an incursion by Chinese troops which was "solved through hotline contacts and consultations, demonstrating that a border war is the least desirable choice for both sides, despite India's often bellicose stance."
"The two nations have the capability to maintain peace," the commentary said.