Beijing: The Chinese media has come out with the opinion that China is "working hard" to improve ties between India and close-ally Pakistan, despite facing heavy criticism from within and its expression of happiness over President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to India is "no hollow diplomatic gesture", a state-run daily said on Tuesday.
   
"China has been committed to peaceful development, including efforts at fostering peace between long-term rivals," an article in Global Times, a ruling Communist Party run daily said. Significantly it said China is pursuing this policy despite internal criticism.
   
"China has been working hard to help better the relationship between India and Pakistan, a move that has even been lambasted by some of its own nationals", it said.

China lauds Zardari’s visit to India
   
China's expression of happiness over the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in New Delhi last week is "no hollow diplomatic gesture", it added.
   
The article has not elaborated on criticism within China to the policy of encouraging rapprochement Pakistan, China's long term close ally and India which is perceived as a strategic rival in the Chinese establishment.
     
As China improved its relations with India on trade and political fronts in the past few years, much to the disquiet of Pakistan, this is the first time that a Chinese daily referred to such criticism. The article said despite China's efforts to improve India-Pak relations, "the so-called "China Threat" theory chanted by the West has blinded some neighbouring countries into taking a hardline approach against China".
   
"India is an example of this" it said pointing to reports that India has become the largest buyer of arms in the region which in turn led to concerns from "analysts that it is engaging in an arms race with its northern neighbour".

Now if China's policymakers were to hire a policy advisor from the West, it would most likely receive the suggestion to counter India's hostility by encouraging or even supporting Pakistan to harass India, distracting it from focusing its military on China, it said without referring to existing close military ties between Beijing and Islamabad.
     
"The US is no doubt a master of this "art," as it has been turning countries around the world against each other. This way, the US has ensured its geopolitical supremacy and benefit from arms sales in the meantime," it said.
   
As developing state itself, China understands how important a peaceful external environment means to India and Pakistan, where living standards still require major improvements. Hence, rather than aggravate regional tensions, China has been promoting dialogue and cooperation between the two", it said. Similarly, China has encouraged North and South Korea to reduce tension through diplomacy, it said.
   
"The West labels China as a threat because it fears the prospect its dominance on world affairs will be over. There is no need for profound historical or political knowledge to know where the threat truly lies," it said.

(JPN/Agencies)