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Chinese media hails Modi-Xi meeting; panda not dragon represents China in illustration

By Shubham

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan city in Hubei Province of central-eastern China on Friday and Saturday, April 27 & 28, the Chinese media praised it as something that heralded a "new chapter in Sino-Indian relations".

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping

China's Global Times said in an op-ed that Modi's visit to China is not aimed at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in June but towards having a strategic communication "on the most profound and unprecedented changes the world has seen in a century and thoroughly exchange views on the overall, long-term, strategic issues of China-India relations".

The two neighbours locked horns in a military standoff over Doklam for almost two-half-months in mid-2017 which almost led to a war - the second time since 1962. The op-ed said the Doklam crisis did not occur suddenly but was a result of an accumulation of mutual mistrust between the two countries over the years.

The Global Times article further added: "India was discontented with and worried about China. When India applied for permanent membership of the UN Security Council, China's attitude toward it was the most passive of the five current permanent members. India's membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group was also opposed by China on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty or the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Although there are other countries who also opposed India's application, it ascribed its failure to China's obstruction. After these disputes, the Indian government and media considered China hostile."

"China also has many doubts about India. While the Indian government promised not to support Tibetan separatism, it has harboured separatists over a long period of time and tacitly approved them engaging in activities that jeopardize China's interests in India. In recent years, India has drawn close to the US and Japan, cooperating with the US over Washington's rebalance to Asia-Pacific strategy and is even possibly setting up an Asian version of NATO together with the US and Japan to contain China. India is not only firmly opposed to the Belt and Road initiative, but also warned South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka to reject it," the op-ed said.

The article also carried an illustration of an elephant (signifying India) meeting a panda (China's symbol) riding two boats in the middle of a water body. The representation of China through a more adorable panda than a fierce dragon also suggested the Chinese mood while embracing PM Modi for the latest informal meeting in their territory.

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