Beijing, March 22 – The Chinese media has threatened to “fight back” any Indian attempt to meddle with China’s attempts to enter into military collaboration with Nepal and Sri Lanka. The threat comes amid the ongoing visit of Chinese defence minister Chang Wanquan to Sri Lanka, which will be followed by a tour of Nepal.
Chang is accompanied by deputy commander of the navy, Su Zhiqian, the Times of India reported.
China is worried that it may not be easy to overcome decades of Indian influence in these countries. Accusing India of trying to counter-balance China’s growing influence in South Asia, Beijing-based Global Times said in a commentary, “If such tendencies in India continue, China will have to fight back, because its core interests will have been violated. This is not what we hope for, but the ball is in India’s court.”
However, People’s Daily, the Communist Party organ, has taken a different stance refraining from making such bitter attacks. People’s Daily is regarded as a parent of Global Times.
Beijing is apprehensive about the forthcoming visit to Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat to Nepal from March 28 to 31, which may influence Kathmandu’s decision making during Chang’s visit. Rawat is expected to discuss sale of military hardware and software to Nepal, which is what China is trying to do. This explains China’s worries, observers said.