NEW DELHI: Beijing wants to communicate the message that if India increases the number of its long-range missiles, it will help “all-weather friend” Pakistan do the same, Chinese media said.
The context to this comment was India’s final test firing of
the Agni-IV inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) on
“If the UN Security Council has no objection over this (ICBMs), let it be. The range of Pakistan’s nuclear missiles will also see an increase,” the state-run Global Times said in an editorial, hinting that China will help Pakistan come on par with India.
News outfits in China are often used by the government to convey its opinions or to test the waters or to deliver rebukes it can’t through diplomatic channels.
Global Times’s editorial further batted for Pakistan saying it should be accorded the same nuclear privileges as India.
“If the Western countries accept India as a nuclear country and are indifferent to the nuclear race between India and Pakistan, China will not stand out and stick rigidly to those nuclear rules as necessary. At this time, Pakistan should have those privileges in nuclear development that India has,” the editorial said.
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On the one hand, the editorial said China isn’t bothered by India’s testing of missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, but on the other it did sound like Beijing was perturbed by Agni-IV, especially as it came close on the heels of the successful test-firing of Agni-V.
“…Chinese don’t feel India’s development has posed any big threat to it. And India wouldn’t be considered as China’s main rival in the long run,” the editorial first says.
“But it (China) will not sit still if India goes too far…New Delhi understands that it does little good to itself if the Sino-Indian relations are ruined by any geopolitical tricks,” the editorial says later.
Aside from these issues, the editorial alleged that India “has broken the UN’s limits” on how many nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles it can produce.
“The US and some Western countries have also bent the rules on its nuclear plans. 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,” the editorial said.
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On Monday, India successfully tested – for the final time – its long-range ballistic missile, Agni-IV, which can travel 4,000 kilometres. No long before that, it successfully test-fired Agni-V that has a range of more than 5,000 kilometres and can reach Europe and the northernmost parts of China.
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