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Updated: April 21, 2012 09:40 IST

A 'political missile,' say Chinese media

Ananth Krishnan
Comment (42)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Agni - V, India's longest range ballastic missile, is loaded on to the road mobile launcher. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
The Hindu
Agni - V, India's longest range ballastic missile, is loaded on to the road mobile launcher. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

The Chinese government has said India and China should “cherish” and push forward cooperation, downplaying the impact of Thursday’s launch of Agni-V, which the official media here hit out at as a “political missile”.

The Foreign Ministry said both countries “are not rivals but cooperative partners”, striking a different note from a series of commentaries published in recent days in the official media, describing the launch of India's first intercontinental ballistic missile, which has the capability of reaching any part of China, as a strong political message from New Delhi.

“We should cherish the hard-earned momentum of cooperation,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin said. “The two countries have a sound relationship. During the fourth BRICS meeting [in New Delhi last month], the leadership of the two countries agreed on a consensus to further strengthen cooperation.”

Thursday's launch was described variously in commentaries in several State-run newspapers in recent days as "a political missile" aimed at China and a "reminder" to Beijing to be ready to confront "more complicated security challenges".

Several newspapers close to the Communist Party, including the official People's Daily, The Global Times and the Guangzhou Daily, all published articles that struck a similar note. Analysts said the articles reflected a growing sense of distrust and mutual suspicion on account of a continuing military build-up on both sides of the border, despite commitments from both countries to address differences peacefully.

The Global Times, known for its strong nationalist views, in an editorial, warned India not to “overestimate its strength,” saying it would be “unwise for China and India to seek a balance of power by developing missiles” and both countries needed to be “wary of external intervention.”

“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,” the paper said.

“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.”

“Missile poses threat to China, Pakistan”

India's Agni-V missile is “an intended design” that posed a threat to China and Pakistan, said the Guangzhou Daily. Ye Hailin, a prominent South Asia scholar at the official Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said the missile “has nothing to do with Pakistan, and is mainly targeting China.” Speaking in an interview with the China Business Daily he did, however, downplay the threat saying that China's own ICBM, the Dongfang DF-31, was “more stable and reliable.”

The People's Daily, in one commentary, warned that recent progress in relations marked by growing cooperation on multilateral fora such as the BRICS grouping could be “easily disrupted” as “China and India have remained suspicious of each other.”

It pointed to the development of Agni-V, “which will bring the whole of China under its strike envelope” as a “constant reminder” that recent “charm diplomacy,” such as President Hu Jintao's visit to New Delhi, was “probably not enough to ease and finally eliminate all suspicions.”

The paper said India “should cooperate with neighbouring countries instead of being hostile to them and should reduce its “persecution mania” to play a role on the world stage in the future.”

The commentaries were a reflection that “some people take this missile test as being aimed at China,” Ma Jiali, executive deputy director of the Centre for Strategic Studies of the China Reform Forum, told The Hindu. “Our hope is that this is not directly aimed” at China, he added.

Mr. Ma, an experienced India hand who is on the more moderate end of the spectrum of Chinese strategic opinion on India, said it was important for both countries to address distrust by “increasing military contact at the highest level, have more mutual visits and hold more joint exercises.”

More hawkish views called for a stronger military response from China. One popular unofficial portal on strategic affairs that is known for its nationalistic views claimed that the “shadow of western countries” and India's “accumulated anger” towards China were behind the test, which was, along with recent differences over the South China Sea, an indicator of India “looking to challenge” China.

It welcomed recent moves by the People's Liberation Army to boost military preparedness by holding two major drills in Tibet near the border with India — an operation in October comprising Air Force and artillery units and a recent live-fire drill by the PLA Air Force. The commentary urged Beijing to “not be careless and naive and think that India is militarily weak.”

Keywords: Agni-V launch

Hi mungamuri satyanarayana,

Didn't this same line of thought cause us to be overpowered by the British? I have many friends from China who feel during our discussions about various considerations of a country's growth that India is a far better country than China because of inclusive growth, distributed facilities and ratio of people who have been touched by development. Let us be proud of our achievements and stop tearing down everything as bad.

from:  Karthick S
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 11:15 IST

I think Agni5 is a great success,but India has lot of poverty and now we
should spend more on our poor children.China has provided most of the
basic amenities to it's people and if India can take care of its poor
and weak which is the most important,super power is completely

from:  naveen
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 08:39 IST

Dear Editor: While certainly the testing of the missile is a huge accomplishment for the people of India, it is by no means of imagination that this is the crown jewel that the rulers of India have been waiting for. The Soviet Union with a much more advanced weapons build up was no match to the economic power of the United States. The people of China are united and firmly behind their rulers whereas the Indian political leadership has not taken its people alongwith it. This is the lesson which history has taught us time and again, all the way from Taxila to Somnath, yet our rulers like to fool us so easily - or rather are we willing to be fooled?

from:  Dwarakanath Srinivasan
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 05:57 IST

India and China have emerged as the two major (and competing) superpowers in Asia. However, due to border problems, the delicate situation in Kashmir, and the memory of the 1962 war, the Indian security establishment views China with much apprehension. China, too, in order to expand its influence in Asia, seeks to undermine India and browbeat it into assuming a secondary position. An arms race is in the offing, and Agni-V is a chapter in that race. In my opinion, the two countries should remember that a war in Asia would be potentially devastating and throw this already unstable region into a reign of chaos. Fundamentalist forces in Central Asia and Pakistan/Afghanistan are waiting for such an opportunity to throw this region into disarray. So the best way ahead for China and India would be to invest a modicum of trust in each other, try to interact and cooperate in international fora, and employ the funds used in an arms race in strengthening themselves and the region.

from:  Dipanjan
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 01:20 IST

Global Times is right in that India is no match to Chinese arsenal of nukes and missiles. What India needs is enough of a deterrence that will provide it a second-strike capability. As China gets more prosperous it will have more to lose and hence more reluctant to risk a nuclear exchange. India needs to have an effective 2nd-strike capability with nuclear submarine launched SLBM and road-mobile ICBM to be able to survive a first strike and retaliate back. In addition India should make it clear its red line to China that India may be forced to use a tactical nuke in the event of a total rout of Indian forces by a Chinese invasion of Arunachal Pradesh or Ladakh. India won't let a repeat of 1962 debacle. Only solution to border disputes are through talk and negotiations. China should forget about browbeating India to submission.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 00:31 IST

Chinese has more sophiticated amd 3 times missiles India has. why cannot they show restrain. At least, our launch is open to everyone to see whereas Chinese always do things secretively including clandestinely supporting rogue states. I fail to understand this nespaper supporting them openly sitting in our country. Let this jounalist please come out of china .

from:  Bala
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 18:10 IST

I have nothing new but to express the same surprise over China's
apprehension over the test of Agni-V. China really didn't predict that
India can do this? I don't think so. And it is a bit funny because, at
any time, if India did something intercontinental, the complete ground
of china should be covered because we share the same border and in the
same continent after all. Here the fact is that, we are Indians and we
will always have records, but hardly addresses other problems. (Just
like our Cricket team...!!!)

from:  Srinivas Kothuri
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 17:40 IST

Apart form the fact that there is genuine need for such a missile and
that there is a significant friction point between China and India, in
situation like this we need to learn to be diplomatic. Almost every
article mentioned that India has strike capability to hit deeper parts
of China. These are words that best left unsaid. Media should also
understand that other countries take these statement and project it as
India's official stand. This will build negative image among general
public in those countries. There are enough points to ponder for PTI,
PR arm of our External affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Defense wings of our Government.

from:  Mathan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 17:31 IST

It is a great achievement to build our own ICBM. Lets not be over confident with that. With this achievement we must try to bring economic cooperation in the region and not political tension.Lets not forget "With great power comes, great responsibility".

from:  Vinoth
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 16:10 IST

There is no end to arm race and ironically, there is no alternative to it as well. It is a typically game theory question - who blinks his eye first. This strong reaction from China says a lot about their increasing head aches after this missile test. As a human being one can only pray that these missiles will never be used by any country.

from:  Drupad Prusty
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:42 IST

DRDO has achieved great success again! I am sure they are working on mobilizing Agni-V by a submarine. We have "No First Use" policy, strengthening our military arsenal is but natural looking at China's uncalled for aggression in North East India, Tibet & South China Sea and in light of huge increase in military spending this year by this quasi dictatorial country. China's internet hackers are working continuously to find ways to cripple our communication system in case of fight and the companies like "Huawei" - Owned completely by Chinese government in guise of its employees - constructing more than 50% of India's mobile towers raises questions over India’s approach towards data security. India's long term Strategic Military allies like Russia, France, Singapore, Israel would be pleased with our achievements so would be our new friends with benefits like US, Japan, South Korea & most of the west willing to contain China.

from:  Kaustubh
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 14:12 IST

The way some laud the Agni V Missile it would appear that the people
have much to gain from it.The trains are continously and completely
overbooked throughout the year and it appears there is a holiday rush
througout the year.India is approx. 60 years behind Japan and China
in High speed rail technology which means that in every technology in
materials and fabrication with reference to it we are behind. It is
not so good to concentrate on technologies which may help in
deterrence only and may help in space but the people are broken by
dirty roads,unclean trains and lack of civic sense,lack of water
management, night and day four or five hours of power cuts and the
continous desire of a whole lot of people to migrate from the
country.Is the country planning well for the future or planning for
our destruction.We Wonder.

from:  Prof.Paul.V.John
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 13:00 IST

Congratulation India....It is high time India came out of its closet and
proved that it cannot be a silent any longer to its ambitious,
aggressive and arrogant neighbor. Nuclear India with LRBM/ICBM
capability is a perfect Insurance policy. Learn to give and take

from:  Shivpal Reddy
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:45 IST

I read a story once. There was a snake who was very poisonous and
people afraid to go near him. He was left all alone and was bored. One
day a saint came by and asked him about his condition. He told him the
situation. The saint advised him to be friendly and not to harm
anyone. The snake took his advice and stopped biting and hissing.
People lost fear of him. Children use to grab him and throw him in air
and on stones. This left lots of bruise marks on his body. He was
almost half dead when the saint visited him again. The saint asked him
about his pitiful condition. He told him his anecdotes. The saint said
“I asked you to be friendly but I didn’t ask you to give away your
characteristics. Be friendly but not timid. Don’t forget who you are.”
The same situation is with India and China. India must be friendly but
at the same time intimidating to those who don't respect her.
“ Chama sobhti us bhujang ko jiske paas garal ho
Uska kya jo dantheen. Vishrahit vineet saral ho"

from:  Abhiket Gaurav
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:40 IST

China's apprehension is quite surprising on test fire of Agni-5 despite the fact that India is committed to its nuclear weapon policy.Chinese attitude has been always skeptical towards India.Now time has come for China to accept India as a powerful developing neighbor. We hope that China will continue to play peaceful relations with India.

from:  mohit soni
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:28 IST

India's missile test has come at a much needed time. China is acting like a bully in the South-east Asia region, belittling India and not following the international border treaties as there were some cases of infringement by the Red Army on the eastern borders.
India has its right to grow and the outcry by the Chinese media is totally unnecessary.China possesses so many nuclear warheads, why doesn't China try to cut out on that and reduce the tension in the South-east Asia region.
India is a country which believes in peace and India and China in particular should look at India as its peaceful competitor.

from:  Suji
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:09 IST

let all of us,Indians do not get swayed by the heroic poses of our demonstartion of AGNI5.Let us be clear,where our DRDO has been unable to make a reliable revolver for use by our IB and counter intelligence people, with such items needing to be imported- it is clear that our missiles are also not fit to the extent these are portrayed.However these can create only general destruction.
Thus in a conflict say with China, let us be clear that we would also get destroyed along with China.

from:  atis
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:09 IST

The chinses minds have been contantly influenced throu out their history, by their philosphy such as,to quote a only a few;
i)I would rather betray others, than have others betray me.
ii) the political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

They bsically believe and understand the langauge of strength in all their dealings with the international community.Therefore,it is prudent on India,s part to
- continue to talk to them and build on whatever mutual confidence and trust,as is possible
- NEVER trust them
- Continue to build our defence preparedness.

They have successfully placed a monkey on our shoulder(Pakistan) which continues to needle us and will continue to do so.With distructive power of nuclear weapons in their hands, we hardly have any miltary options .we need to use our economic strength and their weakness( extremism and terrorism)to get rid of this monkey and also see that we place a monkey on their back (Balochistan)).

from:  M G singhal
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:08 IST

Should India manufacture these missiles?
I am happy with tha fact that our country is now more capable of defending itself.That we have the technology to answer any hostility by our neighbours, specially china now, as most of it comes in the range of Agni 5.
But my question here is, are we ever going to use it. If yes, in the aftermath of the chain of events, will there be any India or China left.If no, why to invest such large amounts on manufacturing these missiles, while 29.8% of our population is below proverty level.
If our intention is just to send the message, having the technology serves the purpose.

from:  vinay kumar
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 11:43 IST

Although its a proud moment for India for creating a new deterrent against the increasing chinese defence prowess, our celebrations should not be immature by bringing China in each and every comment made about our achievement. We still have a long way to go and China is still far ahead from us economically and militarily.
This missile test alone is enough to send them a message to not to underestimate us. We dont need this jingoistic attitute that most of our news channels are exhibhiting. After all its peace what both of the countries want to prevail.

from:  Sandeep Malhotra
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 11:37 IST

Agni V successful testing has put us in the elite group.One thing all
countries must understand is that we have developed this for our
Security. We also follow not to attack first.Media, in China is
projecting India to the people in a suspicious way.Even China has lots
of ICBM in their hands. As the developing economies in the world ,China
and India should hold discussions on economic cooperation and take a
stand which is beneficial for the whole human community.

from:  Ramji
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 11:36 IST

India and China both the countries are emerging economies and part of
BRICS and will do well in cooperating with each other. India has the
right to defend its sovereignty, which must be appreciated.

from:  Sunil V Chaudhary
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 11:25 IST

China has ICBMs which can reach remote parts of INDIA, and now INDIA has the same. Any goof-ups by some stupid anxios leaders on the either side of the border can potentially blow up, lakhs of innocent farmers and civilians wondering what in he hell did they have to do with any of it ? just a second before they are fried. And Delhi and Beijing will probably still be safe. Hmmmm, Now I can surely say, common man is screwed...India / China / Pakistan and so on....

from:  Sami
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 11:06 IST

It is a grand success on India's part to have it's first ICBM. It is inevitable that eyebrows will be raised on the other side of the Chinese wall. That precisely will be enough to reorient the security scenario in South and Southeast Asian region. China will surely respond to the tests and in that case India has to set itself prudently to be fit in the strategic scenario of the region. By this successful test of Agni V we have much to rejoice but our strategic considerations should be confident enough to take on the challenges that would be posed. China is always serious about it's strategic considerations. Chinese response will be a mix and match of showing military preparedness and diplomatic pressure on India by all machinations possible. High level discussions might go on between the two countries over various issues especially on economic cooperation but it is to be taken as a foregone conclusion that India's relation with China has to be understood primarily in strategic terms.

from:  Sreejan Das
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 08:55 IST

There is no end to arm race and ironically, there is no alternative to it as well. It is a typically game theory question - who blinks his eye first. This strong reaction from China says a lot about their increasing head aches after this missile test. As a human being one can only pray that these missiles will never be used by any country.

from:  Gyan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 08:52 IST

It is a matter of deep regret that china is taking Agni-5 success as a distrust between two nations. India is just strengthing its own security. China is providing missile technologies to the neighbouring countries and if india is developing its own missiles so why china has to worry. China should review its approach towards india for developing amicable enviornment.

from:  subhash yadav
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 08:06 IST

though agni-5 is a success story for india but there are a few limitations to it like it 50 ton+ can be launched from fixed platform making it more prone to attack.and accuracy is not sufficient.never the less it has been a success for india and we can always improve.

from:  moti ur rahman
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 08:00 IST

India’s distrust towards China is not unfounded. I guess both sides know that all too well. China should also realize it is not the same India that they fought previously. It may not have superseded them militarily but have learnt from our past mistake, and that is to trust China.
Having said that, for China to talk of Peace needs to be more realistic that should include changes to the Once China policy towards India’s claim of disputed land and their unconditional military support to Pakistan. Peace and Trust is a two way street.

from:  Vignesh
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 07:57 IST

It is clear from various comments by the Chinese media, that India's successful missile test has really gotten under their skin! It is about time that they take their neighbour seriously and hopefully treat them as real equal partner with respect in future.

from:  CD Anand.
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 07:37 IST

The recent spat between the Ministry of Defence and the outgoing Army Chief does not augur well for well preparedness of our defence forces. Mere testing of Agni-5 is not going to serve as a deterrent, especially for China and Pakistan. An efficient, united army with full confidence and support both from the Defence Ministry bureaucrats and the politicians is the need of the hour. Mere rhetrorics from Defence minister and PM are not enough. Corruption in defence establishments and disunity is dangerous for the country. It is high time that Antony, known for his honest and transparent dealings, handles the situation with an iron hand. Interference from "politicos with know knowledge of defence matters". Should be discouraged. We all know very well the unpreparedness of our army for our debacle in early 1960s and the Bofors Scam.

from:  Krishnan Natarajan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 07:36 IST

It is quite natural that China is reacting aggressively on on the
successful test firing of India's first intercontinental ballistic
missile, Agni-v which was launched on April 19,2012, the auspicious
day on which Aryabhatta was sent to space on April 19,1975, from
Wheeler's island off the bay of Bengal from Odisha coast. The reason
is obvious. Agni-V covers all parts of China. Chinese media has termed
this feat as a " strong political message from New Delhi to Beijing " , but China's apprehension is not well founded. India will continue to
develop ICBMs till all parts of earth comes under the ambit of our
missile. If this happens, USA and western forces will react more
aggressively than China has reacted. In fact, China and other
countries possessing ICBM technology would never like any country to
compete them. This is human psychology. Agni-V will act as a
deterrent. India has already declared its policy 'not to use nuclear

Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 07:30 IST

There is no accumulated anger towards China;only China is flexing
their mussle. The latest report says there were 37 incursions in
Arunachal Pradesh;also incidents in china south sea. Now China is
little bit angry towards India .One thing China should
realize that they are dealing with the largest democracy and not with pakistan.

from:  TPaul
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 05:54 IST

Good for India. If we had coherent policy in the U.S., there would be no doubt that our nation would be in complete support of this and other defensive actions by India. You are courageous, and we thank you for it.

from:  K. Carroll
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 05:16 IST

Agni-V (Paanch) punches Panchsheel...

from:  Subramanian
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 04:11 IST

The nation of Mahatma Gandhiji has no reason to develop such WMD
spending billion of dollar which could have been used to provide
shelters, clothing and food to their millions of poor. Any wise man
knows that such WMD's are being used by the super power only and will
never be used by others. Indian leadership is following the wrong
path, which can make her bankrupted like America and her followers.
Also, India cannot afford to go on war with China and wipe out almost
half of the civilization. India-China should not play in the western
hands by starting fighting and finish each other.

from:  john dahodi
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 00:21 IST

"Chinese nuclear power is more “stronger and reliable” and New Delhi
has “no chance” to catch up." Laughable! Catch up with what? Number
of people exterminated? Few thousands more or less in an unthinkable
nuclear holocaust? Coming from a barbaric country which sacrificed
millions during cultural revolution, it is indeed true India is far
too civilised to catch up with Chinese methods of the means
justifying the ends!

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 22:17 IST

This government which has collapsed on both legs has suddenly found a third leg in
this Hype of Missile launching. However it will be only very temporary as the news
media cannot keep trumpeting this ONE MISSILE FOREVER especially in a world filled
with hundreds of missiles. As soon as the next scam is unearthed, this third leg will
also give way and then it will be time for the next set of Promising Politicians to bluff
their way into power!

from:  angela alvares
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 20:51 IST

The success of Agni missile is welcome. But, at what cost? When millions of people are struggling for livelihood and food, is there any necessity to launch such a costly endeavors? The Chinese position in this regard is different from that of India. Being a Communist country, it is always under the scan of United States which always want to destroy the other systems of life not akin to its style of functioning. In the recent past, China had achieved many a things. It was successful in testing ICBMs with range capacity of 11200 km. It introduced bullet trains in many parts of the country. It produced the super computer of the world. Likewise, it advanced in many fields of development activities. Just one example is enough to describe the difference between India and China. They are having 30 times of Foreign Direct Investment than that of India.The Chinese share of American debt to the World is more than 70 percent.We should first see our peoples' welfare cherished than ICBMs.

from:  mungamuri satyanarayana
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 20:47 IST

This missile is rather like Indian Governance, and Indian strategy. What sort of pay load does India have to put in it? Diwali fireworks? India still has no credible deterence to keep its neighboours from incursions. Period.

from:  S. Suchindranath Aiyer
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 20:06 IST

congratulations to everyone that were behind the show.

from:  S.K.Sharma
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 20:06 IST

It is good to build 'capability' (particularly in the supporting
scientific knowledge base and in manufacturing capacity), so that
countries interested in a 'balanced world' can see India's increased
potentialities more clearly (not through an outdated 19th/20th century
prism), and are encouraged to respond appropriately.
To go beyond the 'minimum proof of ability' could be 'unproductive and
provocative' and unjustifiably 'financially debilitating'.
It is dangerous to sleep-walk into an 'arms/nuclear race'.
It is foolish to 'brag'. A 'restrained and non-aggressive response'
from India, at all times, would earn praise from friends, calm nerves
of uneasy countries, and enhance India's reputation as a 'mature and
developed' nation. The PM's announcement was perfect.

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 19:44 IST

Balance of power is necessary for maintaining peace in the region.
China is asserting its hegemony which is already indicated in many
instances and in recent, in south china sea episode China
threatened India also. As per the present scenario in international
politics if India to be a superpower she should have military
power to assert her claim. It is true that problem cannot be solved
through military but it works as deterrent to war. China consider
herself as superpower as USA's power slightly reduced due to
recession that why she want solve her border problem with its
military. Considering this fact, Agni V was essential for India

from:  Atul Warhekar
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 19:19 IST
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