Political parties should stop inflaming anti-China sentiments to garner votes in Lok Sabha elections Chinese media

China's President Xi Jinping

Global Times opinion piece cautions India on exacerbating anti-China sentiment for electoral gains, emphasising potential damage to China-India relations and stability.

Political parties in India should refrain from stoking anti-China sentiments to garner votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024, urges an article published in the Chinese state run-Global Times. 

Any attempt to exacerbate anti-China sentiment will ultimately cause more trouble for the bilateral relationship and bring more instability to India, reads the opinion piece published on March 17, a day after Election Commission of India announced the schedule for seven-phase Indian general elections beginning April 19. The results will be declared on June 4, the poll panel said.

The Chinese media, it reads, is paying great attention to this election, as India is a neighboring country to China and the two countries have frequent border disputes. It also mentions the violent clash in the Galwan Valley in 2020.

On June 15 2020, Ladakh’s Galwan Valley witnessed a violent clash between the armies of the two bordering nations. The clash, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, was one of the worst in 45 years and led to a military standoff with China.

The article mentions that the continuous improvement of China-India economic and trade relations has been a focus of attention for the Chinese media. “In 2023, China-India bilateral trade volume amounted to $136.22 billion, a year-on-year increase of 1.5 percent, of which China's exports to India reached $117.68 billion, up 0.8 percent year-on-year, while China's imports from India were $18.54 billion, up 6 percent year-on-year."

The article also referred to PM Narendra Modi's visit to Arunachal Pradesh on March 9 when he inaugurated the strategically significant Sela Tunnel project. 

China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, routinely objects to Indian leaders' visits to Arunachal Pradesh staking its old claim. Beijing has also named the area as Zangnan.

The piece reads that resolving the remaining issues between India and China required joint efforts from both sides, which is conducive to creating an atmosphere for the two countries to resolve issues such as borders and trade through political means.

“External forces, especially Western public opinion, create comparisons through so-called democratic topics, pit one side against the other, sow discord between China and India, maliciously hype up China-India competition and even spread rumors to mislead India into viewing China as a major competitor. All this seriously affects and undermines the perception each side has of the other. During the election period, Indian public opinion needs to be highly vigilant against this kind of misleading that could cause long-term harm to China-India relations," it said.