DHARAMSHALA, April 20: India’s successful test fire of its first long-range nuclear deterrent missile ‘Agni V’ that can strike the Chinese heartlands has drawn sharp reactions from the state controlled media in China.
The Chinese Communist Party controlled Global Times came out with a strong editorial titled, "India being swept up by missile delusion,” cautioning India not to overestimate its strength. The Global Times commentary advised India not to be arrogant about its missile capabilities and claimed that the Chinese nuclear power is more "stronger and reliable" and New Delhi has "no chance" to catch up."
"India should not overestimate its strength. 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," Global Times 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".
The commentary also issued a scathing warning to India not to rely too heavily on the West in what Beijing sees as an effort to curb China’s growth.
"India should also not overstate the value of its Western allies and the profits it could gain from participating in a containment of China. If it equates long range strategic missiles with deterrence of China, and stirs up further hostility, it could be sorely mistaken," the commentary said.
“India is still poor and lags behind in infrastructure construction, but its society is highly supportive of developing nuclear power and the West chooses to overlook India's disregard of nuclear and missile control treaties," the report further added.
China’s state television CCTV keenly followed the launch of the 5000 km range missile, under the news headline: "Show of Force."
"The missile launch will not help solve border disputes. Accuracy (of the missile) is a vital question. Several tests needed," Su Xiaohui, a scholar at the China Institute of International Studies, a think-tank attached to the foreign ministry, told CCTV in an interview.
In New Delhi, news reports have quoted diplomatic sources in the Chinese embassy as saying that the "Agni-V launch can give rise to another round of arms race in this part of the world."
China sits on one of the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the world and has the capability of striking all major Indian cities from its several missile launch sites on the Tibetan plateau.
Although China's military strength is a closely guarded secret, it is believed that China's main inter-continental ballistic missile is the DF-5A that has a range of about 13,000 km and delivers a payload of 3,200 kg.