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Chinese daily praises India


Beijing: China's state-run newspaper daily on Wednesday said that India, a major power, rarely plays up to other nations, while noting that the national interest is always prioritised in New Delhi's foreign policies.

An opinion piece "US intervention resisted by Indian culture" in the Global Times on Wednesday said: "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."

Representative image. Ibnlive

Representative image. Ibnlive

The US was "disappointed" over India's decision not to issue visas to members of a US commission that reviews violations of religious freedom around the world, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said last week.

"As the White House is attaching more importance to its ties with New Delhi in recent years, how the visa refusal will affect the US-India relationship is worth exploring," said the article by Zhuang Guotu, professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Xiamen University.

The article 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 also.

"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.

The article noted that the US has long been attempting to use its soft power, especially its system of values, to influence the internal affairs of other nations.

"Since US President Barack Obama came into office, the White House has attached great significance to manipulating US smart power, a combination of hard power and soft power strategies, to influence others."

It added: "However, to Washington's disappointment, New Delhi has the capability and determination to resist US-led Western cultural infiltration. While almost all the other civilized nations have been Westernised in many aspects of life, India has shown high confidence in its traditional culture."

"Compared with other nations, Western culture has exerted little influence on New Delhi."

The article observed that cultural confidence is a key driving factor for India to stick to its own religions, ideologies and customs.

It went on to say that judging from the current situation, "the White House is attaching increasing importance to its relationship with India".

"Following the rise of East Asia and South Asia, the whole of Asia is carrying more weight in the international system. As a major state that can reshape Asia's power pattern, India is becoming increasingly vital to the White House."

"While Washington needs to draw New Delhi to its side to counter Beijing, the Indian government, which eyes the maximization 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."

The professor wrote that the visa refusal may be a retaliatory measure to an unpleasant incident that happened in 2010 as well.

"Then Indian ambassador to the US Meera Shankar was singled out and frisked by a security agent at US airport, allegedly because she was wearing a sari. This was unacceptable to India, which later strongly protested to the US," the article recalled.

"The principle of reciprocity is honoured in Indian diplomatic activities. It is unsurprising for India to retaliate over this unpleasant incident six years later."

The article predicted that cultural collision between the US and India will see an intensifying trend in the future.

"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.

It added: "The ruling BJP is a Hindu nationalist party. Denying visa to religious panels reflects the determination of the administration of Narendra Modi to protect local cultures and religions. Tougher US intervention will see firmer resistance from India."

IANS

First Published On : Mar 16, 2016 12:39 IST

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