It is regrettable to see some Indians still in a zero-sum mindset and treat China's increasing influence in Myanmar with ‘suspicion’ and even ‘hostility’, China's state-run Global Times said in an article today.
The article is seen as a response to a political commentary which had described Myanmar as ‘a theatre of geopolitical competition between India and China’.
The article said that by saying so, ‘India also acknowledged that Beijing's influence in the beleaguered nation is indeed rising’.
The political commentary by TOI came at a time when Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi was on a trip to China and Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw was on a state visit to India.
“It is understandable to evaluate bilateral ties from a geopolitical perspective, but China is unlikely to be interested in begrudging any increased interaction between India and Myanmar. In contrast, China would be happy to see more substantive help from India to the Southeast Asian country, for instance in promoting Myanmar's peace process,” the article reads.
“In the past few days, India and China have both expressed a willingness to play a role in Myanmar's peace process. Hopefully the two countries can put aside any antagonistic feelings and work together to support this process,” it added.
China and Myanmar have shared a geopolitically strategic 2185-kilometre border since the end of World War II.
Observers across the globe have placed high hopes on Myanmar's peace talks, which starts today between the authorities and ethnic armies, it said. However, bringing interested parties to the negotiating table is just the beginning of a lengthy process in solving the protracted problem between Myanmar's ethnic armies and the military.
Promoting Myanmar's peace process is in accord with the basic interests of, not only the Southeast Asian nation, but the whole region. After promising its support, India may need to think about how it can work with other countries, China and ASEAN members included, to provide economic assistance to Myanmar.
The 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference has been widely hailed as a big achievement of Myanmar's new government. Hopefully, Asian countries can stop being suspicious of each other and seize the opportunity to promote regional peace, stability and development.
Instead, it said India, needs "to think about how it can work with other countries, China and ASEAN members included, to provide economic assistance" to Myanmar.
"Hopefully, Asian countries can stop being suspicious of each other and seize the opportunity to promote regional peace, stability and development," the article advocated.