The row over the treatment of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade by U.S. authorities was “just the beginning” of tensions between New Delhi and Washington, a commentary in a Party-run Chinese newspaper said Thursday.
With Chinese strategic analysts closely following the developments in the case and what impact it would have on India-U.S. ties, the commentary said there were “risks that may explode any moment” because of a mismatch in expectations from both sides.
“Indians see humiliating their diplomat as seriously jeopardising India’s international image,” wrote Liu Zongyi, a scholar at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, in an article published by the Global Times, a tabloid known for its nationalistic views published by the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official paper.
“India has perceived itself as a power with a global influence and a relatively high international status. It requests due respect from other powers,” the commentary said.
It, however, said the media and political parties were “responsible for exaggerating the Khobragade case” and “hyping issues related to national pride.”
While noting that India’s ties with the U.S. had been deepened recently with both countries speaking of “a natural alliance,” Mr. Liu said there were other “risks that may explode any moment.”
“The two have different expectations of bilateral ties: India hopes to rely on the U.S. to improve [its]international position… but it is unwilling to be a tool of the U.S. in containing China, while the U.S. aims at making use of India to balance China and wants a more open Indian market. These mismatching goals offer the potential of conflict.”
The commentary predicted that both sides will find an opportunity to “cool things down” regarding the Khobragade case, but the recent troubles were “just a beginning”.
“If the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Narendra Modi is elected as Indian Prime Minister in the 2014 elections,” Mr. Liu concluded, “relations will have to confront real challenges then, especially since the U.S. still refuses to issue Modi a visa.”