The article originally appeared on India Today.

Global Times, the mouth organ of China’s ruling Communist Party, has dismissed India’s missile programme saying ‘India needs to cool its missile fever’.

The Global Times editorial piece writes that ‘India should realize that owning several missiles does not mean it is a nuclear power. Even though India does become a nuclear power, it will be a long time before it can show off its strength to the world.’

The write-up uses some harsh words for India after its successful Agni IV missile test yesterday that has a range of 4000 Km and can reach China. It shows how two back to back missile tests, earlier Agni V with a range of over 5000 Km and now Agni IV, have rattled China. These tests show India’s prowess for its Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) development programme.

When India had test-fired its ICBM Agni V on December 26, China was quick to question India quoting an 18 year old UNSC resolution that seeks that India and Pakistan should shut their ballistic missile development programmes. Reacting on India’s launch, Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said that ‘the UN Security Council had explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons’.

The editorial piece says that India is treading a path that breaks the United Nations’ protocols, “India has broken the UN’s limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile. New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world and then it can land on an equal footing with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members.”

India’s claim for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council is another soar point for China and like India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China tries to thwart the Indian efforts here as well.

Though the editorial piece, that we can say conveys the official position of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), speaks on the need of developing rapport between India and China, the tone is both patronizing as well as threatening.

Demeaning India, the editorial says that at present, India’s GDP accounts for about 20 percent of China’s whereas China’s strategic nuclear missiles have long ago realized global coverage, and China’s overall military industrial capacity is much better than that of India.

Threatening India, the editorial says that India knows the cost of posing a nuclear threat to China. It says that China wants to better relations with India ‘but will not sit still if India goes too far’.

The editorial also brings in Pakistan in its sermonic run of commentary and advocates that the world community should treat India and Pakistan equally when it comes to their nuclear development programmes.

Repeating the Chinese rant of maintaining strategic balance in South Asia, the editorial says that these missile tests by India would see counter launches by Pakistan with missiles of longer ranges. Pakistan claims China is its all weather ally and China proves it by its acts time and again, like blocking the Indian proposal at the UN to declare Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief, a designated terrorist, in its most recent show of bonhomie with Pakistan.


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