In an article titled 'South Asia forum delayed by India's self interests', published in the state-run Global Times on Tuesday, Liu Zongyi, a scholar at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies launched a scathing criticism against India, accusing it of attempting to retain its supremacy in
the region.

"Generally speaking, New Delhi has not entirely changed its behavioural patterns toward neighbours despite its occasional petty favours to them.

"By readjusting its relations with its neighbours, India aims at consolidating its supremacy in South Asia and including the whole region in its sphere of influence, instead of realising common development and prosperity," the article

Observers say the article with phrases like India an "economically underdeveloped" country, displaying "great power chauvinism and selfishness" were rare in the state-run media
especially by the official think-tanks in recent years ever since the relations improved between the two countries, showing China's frustration on not becoming the member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Stating that China is "geographically adjacent to the (South Asian) region", the article said India should back Beijing's membership in the SAARC since it has supported India's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, (SCO), a security forum mainly comprised of China, Russia and Central Asian countries.

India and Pakistan, which are observers in SCO, have formally applied for the membership of the grouping.

"New Delhi should agree on Beijing joining SAARC if it attempts to return the favour. But it seems that the country is not that broad-minded. It is afraid that an anti-India group will take shape once China joins SAARC," it said.

Ahead of the recent SAARC summit in Nepal, Chinese official media carried articles with comments by some Nepalese politicians calling for China's admission into the grouping.

India had said at the end of the last month's summit that there was no proposal for the expansion of the SAARC membership.

The article in the daily further suggested that the SARRC could adopt the South East Asian bloc ASEAN's model in enhancing collaboration with other countries.

"Other South Asian countries have a lot of concerns about the India-led integration process of SAARC. If SAARC can imitate the 'ASEAN Plus Three' mechanism, it will be bound to push forward the integration process not only in South Asia but also within a larger region including China as well," it said.

SAARC consists of India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. It has nine observers -- Australia, China, European Union, Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mauritius, Myanmar and US.

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