Indian media should shake off West’s influence


By Global Times (3 June 2020) – Browsing recent reports and commentaries on China in Indian media, one wouldn’t be surprised to find that they are riding on unwarranted Western criticism of China and exploiting every chance to find fault with China.

One column in WION, published on May 19, calls on India to back Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA), in line with a number of countries led by the US, regardless of the internationally recognized “one China” principle. In the Swarajya magazine, an article published on Monday calls on India to take a swaying stance in the China-US feud over Hong Kong and not support “one China” one-sidedly.

Obviously, the Indian media has been keeping a sharp lookout on China, believing every move by China in South Asia is a plot against India, and every one of China’s actions on the world stage has implications for India’s regional and international standing.

As the world continues the arduous fight against the coronavirus, some Indian observers have gone so far as to blame China for the outbreak.

The overemphasis on or even resentment toward China reflects the anxiety of Indians. India considers itself the No.1 power in South Asia and is reluctant to see other countries have more influence in the region. In addition, driven by an opportunistic mind-set, some Indians believe they can benefit from China’s rivalry with the US-led West and strike a balance.

The call of some Indian media outlets to back Taiwan’s participation in WHA, hold China accountable for the coronavirus outbreak and take advantage of Hong Kong affairs are close follow-ups of Western policies against China, reflecting the lack of independent thinking of some Indian media.

But will the West spare any real interests to India? That’s a big question mark. While Western forces are willing to see animosity between China and India, the Indian media has played a considerable role in creating misunderstandings between the two Asian giants.

India and China do share similarities and differences. It is imperative that they find ways to accommodate their differences. As the global power balance shifts toward Asia, a cooperative relationship between the two largest Asian economies can enhance their influence in the region and beyond, while conflicts between the two will only be exploited by the West to jeopardize their interests.

Indian media should enhance their understanding of China and work on more balanced coverage on China and help build constructive relations. It is also hoped that they can shake off Western influence and think independently so that they can best maintain India’s interests.

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