‘India violated border ahead of Modi’s US visit to show Washington it can contain China’, says Chinese media

NEW DELHI: Indian troops “violated” the “undisputed” India-China border so it could show the US New Delhi’s “firm determination to constrain China’s rise”, said China’s state-run media.

In fact, Chinese media saw nefarious designs behind this “violation” as well as the announcement of an “anti-dumping probe” against the country, because both incidents occurred while Prime Minister Modi was getting set to the visit the US eight days ago to meet US President Donald Trump for the first time, it said.

“Because the border face-off and the announcement of the anti-dumping probe occurred around the same time as Modi’s two-day visit to the US, people link India’s bravura with the Modi-Trump meeting,” said an article in the Global Times, a media outlet run by the Communist Party of China.

To be sure, India claims it was China’s People’s Liberation Army troops that intruded into Indian territory in the Sikkim sector of the India-China border to “build a road”.

And not just India, Bhutan too refuted China’s claim that its road construction in Sikkim sector’s Donglang was “legitimate”. Thimphu, in fact, even lodged a formal protest with Beijing asking it to “stop the work immediately” near Bhutanese army camps.

The state-run Chinese media outlet managed to implicate even Trump in India’s attempts to “impress” the US, attributing to the strident US leader a remarkable restraint that he, too, might be surprised to discover he has.

As proof of this, Global Times cited the fact that the H-1B visa issue and the yawning Indo-US trade deficit saw no mention during the Modi-Trump talks.

It said both leaders “did all they could to avoid touching on disputes between the two countries.”

Even as it came up with this theory about New Delhi’s so-called motivations, Global Times assured itself that India is “unlikely to win Trump’s affection”. That’s because India “lags far behind the US and China in national strength”, Global Times said.

Global Times also sought solace in the fact that while Modi was the fifth foreign leader Trump spoke with over the phone after assuming office, his meeting with Modi came only much later, “after his meetings with over 20 heads of state.”

Despite all accounts that Trump and Modi had a successful meeting, Global Times was at pains to prove that any perceived gains for India – or for the US – wouldn’t really pan out.

The media outlet said “de-globalization and the ‘America First’ policy championed by Trump, and pro-globalization and the ‘Make in India’ policy proposed by Modi collide with each other fundamentally.”

 Global Times said these and other “thorny issues” indicate a non-too-optimistic future in bilateral relations between India and the US.

“The US-India relationship has been beset by some thorny issues like the US trade deficit to India, the US restriction on granting H-1B visas and climate change since last year… As the Trump administration puts greater weight on economic diplomacy, the issues mentioned above will presumably impede the US-India relationship in the years to come,” Global Times’s article concluded.
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