China media: India's 'pragmatic' diplomacy

Mr Xi (left) wore a traditional Indian jacket gifted to him by Mr Modi (right) in September Image copyright AFP
Image caption Papers say Mr Xi (left) has good personal relations with Mr Modi

Chinese papers describe India's diplomacy as "pragmatic" and look forward to warmer Beijing-Delhi ties.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met visiting Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday. The president reportedly said he was looking forward to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to China in May.

Papers and experts say it is "rare" for a top Chinese leader to meet a visiting foreign minister, and the meeting shows that Mr Xi has attached huge importance to Beijing's relations with Delhi.

Ms Swaraj on Sunday also met her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as part of the RIC (Russia, India, China) group's summit.

Commenting on the trilateral meeting, Xinhua News Agency describes India's diplomacy as "pragmatic" and one which has the "intention to seek a balance".

"For India, which aspires to become a leading player in both regional and global arenas, it pays off by adopting a pragmatic approach in diplomacy. Instead of purely looking to the West..., India also attaches great importance to relations with its neighbours," says the state-run agency.

An article in the Chinese edition of the Global Times dismisses speculation in India's papers that the rare meeting between the Chinese president and Indian foreign minister shows that Beijing is feeling "insecure and anxious" over warmer Delhi-Washington ties.

"Such comments reflect a narrow perspective on China-India ties and overlook the dynamism of the bilateral development," it says.

It adds that that despite "sensitive border issues", leaders of both countries are "looking at the bigger picture" and have "obviously improved their ability to deal with risks".

Echoing similar views, Wang Yusheng, former ambassador to Sri Lanka, says India "will not be like Japan which tails after the US".

"On the important international issues, China and India are mostly on the same page and are co-operating well. As for the differences over the unresolved historical problems, they can be managed," he writes in the Liberation Daily.

Polluted cities

Meanwhile, air pollution is back in the media spotlight after environment authorities announced the names of China's most polluted cities.

According to the China Daily, almost 90% of China's major cities have failed to meet air quality standards.

Among the top 10 most-polluted cities of 2014, seven are located in Hebei, an industrial province in northern China.

A commentary in the Bandao Net website points out that it is necessary to push for new measures to change the current situation.

"Some cities always top the list. The authorities should put pressure on these cities and give them a timeline to improve their air quality," it says.

An article in the Beijing News, however, says the ranking is "unfair" as the environment and level of industrialisation between the southern and northern regions in China are different.

"Even if there is an improvement of air quality in the most polluted cities, people will still not be able to feel it. On the other hand, the top 10 cities with good air quality may not need to do much to clean up the air as their problems are not so serious," the article argues.

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