Agni-V: Chinese media ridicules; calls it "missile delusion"

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Agni missile
Beijing, Apr 19: After India joined the big league and test-fired the coveted Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V from Wheeler Island, Odisha, looks like the not-so-friendly neighbours China is too happy of the fact. Added to it, the matter that the 5,000 km-range missile can reach as far as China and Europe has also not gone down well with the Chinese. [UPDATE: Pakistan, China clash on India's Agni-V missile launch news]

A Chinese daily has said that even if Indian missiles can reach most parts of China, it stands "no chance in an overall arms race" with the country. It added that New Delhi would gain nothing from this other than "further hostility". [Read: Chinese wake up to Agni V power; says Ind has downplayed it]

The ballistic article appeared in the state-run Global Times in the op-ed section titled "India being swept up by missile delusion" and ridiculed the missile test-firing by saying that India has hopes of entering the global inter-continental missile club despite the fact that inter-continental missiles normally have a range of over 8,000 km.

The article said, “It successfully launched the Agni-IV with a range of 3,500 km last year. Indian public opinion has long seen China as its reference point for military development."

It added that India "is still poor and lags behind in infrastructure construction, but its society is highly supportive of developing nuclear power and the West chooses to overlook India's disregard of nuclear and missile control treaties".

"The West remains silent on the fact that India's military spending increased by 17 per cent in 2012 and the country has again become the largest weapons importer in the world," it said.

In a camouflaged jibe, it also said that India "should not overestimate its strength".

Issuing a warning of sorts, the article commented, "Even if it has missiles that could reach most parts of China, that does not mean it will gain anything from being arrogant during disputes with China. India should be clear that China's nuclear power is stronger and more reliable. For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China."

The article stated, “India should also not overstate the value of its Western allies and the profits it could gain from participating in a containment of China. If it equates long range strategic missiles with deterrence of China, and stirs up further hostility, it could be sorely mistaken".

After spitting considerable venom, the Daily advised Indian and China to have a cordial relationship and said, “Even if this cannot be achieved, the two should at least tolerate each other and learn to coexist." It also added that it would be "unwise for China and India to seek a balance of power by developing missiles".

The article further said, “The geopolitics of Asia will become more dependent on the nature of Sino-Indian relations. The peace and stability of the region are crucial to both countries. China and India should both take responsibility for maintaining this peace and stability and be wary of external intervention.”

"China understands the Indian desire to catch up with China. China, as the most appropriate strategic target for India, is willing to take India as a peaceful competitor."

The jibe continued again, when the daily said that both India and China were sensitive towards each other and added, “objectively speaking, China does not spend much time guarding against India, while India focuses a lot of attention on China. China hopes India will remain calm, as this would be beneficial to both giants.”

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