Chinese media rubbishes report of Chinese mining to threaten India relations
Is the rediscovered warmth in their relationship between India and China short-lived? A report published in South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Sunday, May 20, saying China has started massive mining operations in Lhunze country adjacent to the disputed border with India where a huge reserve of precious minerals valued by Chinese experts at US$60 billion has been found and it could lead to a fresh trouble.
While the Indian media has brought back the focus on the issue which could snowball, China's Global Times said one Chinese expert who the SCMP quoted as saying that Beijing was planning to turn the (Himalayan mountain range) region into another South China Sea later refused to acknowledge that he mentioned the words "South China Sea". It published a piece headlined 'Dodgy report disturbs Sino-Indian ties'.
It said Lhunze county is not disputed and falls under China's sovereign control. It said China's border dispute with India is different from the South China Sea problem and comparing the two was "quite farfetched".
India and China of late are trying to bridge their differences. Following the serious military standoff at Doklam last year, the two have bettered their communication and coordination and last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping at an informal summit in Wuhan where among other things, the two leaders also spoke over improving the border affairs, especially the communication between the militaries of the two countries.
"Both countries have no intention of provoking border disputes and China is unlikely to kick-start an aggressive plan on territorial issues," the Global Times added.
Saying the SCMP report "poked a sensitive spot in Sino-Indian ties but severely lacked factual evidence" and was "coarse", the Global Times report also took a dig at the Indian media saying they were "extremely excited" by it.
"But to many Chinese people, their first impression is that the report is not credible, given the vague facts, the geopolitical point quoted by a geologist and the denial by the expert. It made people doubt the author's motive and speculate that he may be seeking to disturb Sino-Indian ties," it said, adding that India would do a favour to its relationship with China by not getting provoked by the report and lose focus on the bigger picture.