China and India's combined potential are large enough
to make the West anxious but there are "many weaknesses in the bilateral relationship".
State-run Chinese daily Global Times
in an editorial on Monday (the second day of Premier Li Keqiang's India trip) said: "As China's new premier, his selection of India for his first overseas trip has widely been interpreted as a sign that China is attaching greater importance and respect to this large neighbour."
It said that the ties between China and India has long been plagued by negative news.
"This has caused public opinion about the relationship to become more negative than the reality warrants (and)...a 'tent confrontation' between the two sides made headlines. It's difficult to simply judge Sino-Indian relations as 'good' or 'bad'. New conflicts initiated by border disputes may break out at any time, according to worst-case scenarios," the editorial said.
The newspaper stressed that the actual situation in border areas is much better than the Diaoyu Islands disputes with Japan and some other disputed islands in the South China Sea.
"Both sides have been trying to divert the focus
of the bilateral relationship from border disputes to other areas. In spite of media hype, both sides share a common will in terms of preventing border problems from impeding Sino-Indian ties," it said.
"Such rationality is commendable in present-day Asia where nationalism runs rampant."
The editorial said these two large emerging countries have many common interests on major issues such as the global financial order and climate change, which means that the two countries must seek cooperation.
"China and India's combined potential are large enough to make the West anxious. Internal dissension between China and India meets Western interests. There are many weaknesses in the bilateral relationship which can be exploited by outsiders. Without mutual respect, small frictions can be exaggerated. Also, if both nations simultaneously rise, they may put pressure on the other," it added.
The daily, however, noted that the "Indian sense of national pride is very strong but Chinese society doesn't want to adapt. Chinese people lack understanding and respect toward India. They tend to judge it according to ill-conceived preconceptions. ...China's surrounding environment will suffer if India, a country which has the prospect of running neck-and-neck with China, becomes another Japan or Philippines in terms of its policies toward China."
It called for "wisdom" to develop Sino-Indian strategic ties.