Beijing: Praising India's decision to not to grant visa to a US commission on religious freedom, state-run Chinese media on Wednesday said New Delhi always accorded priority to national interest in its foreign policy and has the capability to resist US-led western "cultural infiltration".
"As a major power, New Delhi rarely plays up to other nations. This has been one of India's most significant features since it gained independence in 1947. National interest is always prioritised in New Delhi's foreign policies," it said.
"Given the independent and self-reliant stance of the Indian government, there is little likelihood for other powers to draw New Delhi over to their camps. Refusing visas to the US delegation is consistent to India's traditional way of handling its foreign relations," it said.
This is not the first time the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has been refused visas. The panel was denied access to India in 2009, an article in the state-run Global Times said.
"Cultural collision between the US and India will see an intensifying trend in the future. Although in the US, where religion is separated from politics, the USCIRF may not represent the governmental stance, it is part of the White House strategy to use its soft power, including religion, to influence and even subvert other regimes.
"The US will continue to infiltrate its system of values into India by all possible means, to which New Delhi will still firmly reject," it said. Accusing the US for attempting to use its soft power, especially its system of values, to influence the internal affairs of other nations, it said Washington is manipulating US smart power, a combination of hard power and soft power strategies, to influence others.
"However, to Washington's disappointment, New Delhi has the capability and determination to resist US-led Western cultural infiltration. While almost all the other civilised nations have been Westernised in many aspects of life, India has shown high confidence in its traditional culture," it said. "Compared with other nations, Western culture has exerted little influence on New Delhi.
Cultural confidence is a key driving factor for India to stick to its own religions, ideologies and customs," it said. "While Washington needs to draw New Delhi to its side to counter Beijing, the Indian government, which eyes the maximisation of its interests, will not back off in the interactions with the US. This is why India has flatly refused to grant visas to the US religious panel this time," it said.