"The China-India relationship is on a sound track, and healthy ties are beneficial to both countries. India should be vigilant to any intentions of roping it into an anti-China camp," an article in the state-run Global Times said today, highlighting a joint drill between the Indian and Chinese armies and the trilateral Malabar drills being held concurrently.
On Sunday, the 10-day India-China anti-terrorism joint military drill, code-named Hand-in-Hand 2015, commenced in the Chinese city of Kunming, Yunnan Province. The next day, a trilateral drill by India, the US and Japan was launched in the Bay of Bengal,
"Malabar, a bilateral navy exercise involving the US and India, includes Japan this year. Speculation has therefore mounted that Washington and New Delhi are considering turning Japan into a permanent partner," said the article titled 'Concurrent India drills spark unnecessary speculation'.
"Rabble-rousers say that India is eyeing China by including Japan in the Malabar exercise and the trilateral drill is targeted at China," it said.
Reacting to the Malabar exercises, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, on Monday, told a media briefing that "every day, a lot of activities take place around the world. We cannot connect every activity with China".
The Global Times article also said that Indian officials stressed that New Delhi has been pursuing a "multi-vectored diplomacy".
"India's policies and strategies are based on its national interests. It has been proved that over the past decades, India has stuck to independent foreign policies and never wants to be part of any coalition to contain China," it said.
"The efforts of China and India moving closer have been snubbed by the West, which tries to hype the contention of the two sides. Given the border disputes between China and India, and geopolitical rivalry as well, mutual distrust is slow to dissolve, and India is vigilant against China's rise. This creates opportunities for other countries to drive a wedge between Beijing and New Delhi," the article said.
"But China and India have reached a solid consensus that continued growth in bilateral relations should not be thwarted by divergences," it said.
"Both China and India are emerging countries and share more common interests than disagreements. Since both face an arduous task of development, neither side will prioritise geopolitical competition," the article said.
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