BEIJING: Any moves by India to step-up military ties with Vietnam to counter China will create “disturbance” in the region and Beijing will not “sit with its arms crossed”, state media said on Wednesday, taking exception to a report that New Delhi plans to sell surface-to-air Akash missiles to Hanoi.
“If the Indian government genuinely treats its enhancement of military relations with Vietnam as a strategic arrangement or even revenge against Beijing, it will only create disturbances in the region and China will hardly sit with its arms crossed,” an op-ed in the Global Times said, highlighting China’s concerns over reports of supply of Akash surface-to- air missile system to Vietnam.
The supply of missiles was supposed to be a “normal arms sale, yet was portrayed by the Indian media as a response “to counter the Chinese threat”, it said, referring to reports that the missile sale was in response to China blocking India’s move to become member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and to impose a UN ban on Jaish-e- Mohammed leader Masood Azhar.
“There should be no dispute when India decides to intensify its military ties with Vietnam, a crucial member of ASEAN as well as a key pillar of India’s Act East Policy. Yet such ties should be built for the sake of peace and stability in the region, rather than stirring up troubles or anxiety for others.
“However, when India and Vietnam are in talks about possible sales, New Delhi seems to keep taking a sneak peak at Beijing as if the deal is stealthily aimed at China,” it said.
The tabloid, part of the ruling Communist Party of China, (CPC) official group of publications has been carrying articles targeting India almost on daily basis with aggressive and hostile language.
While striking threatening posture against India over its increasingly close-knit ties with Vietnam, another article in the same daily today warned Hanoi that it must improve ties with China notwithstanding the South China Sea dispute.