"The hard-won friendship between the two nations should be cherished, not abused," the state-run 'China Daily' said in an editorial criticising the recent Ministry of Defence (MoD) Annual Report 2000 which said all major Indian cities were within the range of Chinese missiles.
"The Indian defence ministry's report last week is nothing more than old tricks. Such a move is against the positive development of relations between the two countries," it said.
"After experiencing many ups and downs, both China and India have realised that a friendly China-India relationship is good for both sides," the editorial said while recalling the near freeze in Sino-Indian relations following India's nuclear tests in may, 1998.
"It is nothing new that India should use the excuse of a fabricated 'China threat' to expand its military might. India astonished the world in may 1998 when it conducted five nuclear tests on the grounds that it had to counter a China threat," the paper said.
"As is known to all, it was completely out of self-defence considerations that China developed its nuclear weapons. China has already promised that it will never be the first one to use nuclear weapons," it said while commenting on defence minister Jaswant Singh's statement that the government has approved a plan to develop long-range missiles.
The 'China Daily' recalled that president K.R. Narayanan as well as external affairs minister Jaswant Singh have claimed that India and China should not threaten each other.
"But they are now betrayed by the defence ministry's report," China's lone national English-language newspaper said adding "the latest edition of the 'China threat' theory in the report makes India's attitude to China look equivocal".
It said since 1999, India and China have "managed to improve their previously strained ties" and that chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC), Li Peng visited India in January this year while president K.R. Narayanan visited China last year.
"The two countries also made a substantial breakthrough earlier last year in negotiations on boundary problems, which helped guarantee peace and tranquility in the border area" it said.
The MoD report has also been criticised by China's leading official newspaper, the 'People's Daily' last week.
The mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) said that in the year 1998, the then defence minister George Fernandes talked about 'China threat' and then India conducted five nuclear tests which shook the whole world.
"China does not think this as a wise and responsible move," the 'People's Daily' on-line edition said in an article on the MoD report.
It said after 1998, Sino-Indian relations have been developing in a good direction, thanks to the joint efforts made by leaders of the sides.
"Leaders of both countries have realised that continuous development and improvement in Sino-Indian relations is in the basic interest of the peoples of both countries," the paper said while urging New Delhi not to damage bilateral ties.
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