India's "hegemony" poses a threat to its neighbours, says a premier Chinese daily, citing India's "recent provocation on border issues with China" as proof.
In an opinion piece, the People's Daily says, "In recent years, Indians have become more narrow minded and intolerable of outside criticism as nationalism sentiment rises, with some of them even turning to hegemony.
"It can be proved by India's recent provocation on border issues with China.''
The newspaper, which is the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, says that India's hegemony "is a hundred per cent result of British colonialism. Dating back to the era of British India, the country covered a vast territory including present-day India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh as well as Nepal.''
A previous victim of colonialism and hegemony, it said, India started dreaming about developing its own hegemony after the British left.
"Obsessed with such mentality, India turned a blind eye to the concessions China had repeatedly made over the disputed border issues, and refused to drop the pretentious airs when dealing with neighbours like Pakistan.''
To bolster its argument, the newspaper says that even Jawaharlal Nehru had once said that "India could not play an inferior role in the world, and it should either be a superpower or disappear.'
Calling the dream of being a superpower held by Indians "impetuous", the daily says, "The dream of superpower is mingled with the thought of hegemony, which places the South Asian giant in an awkward situation and results in repeated failure.
Since India has constantly been under foreign rule, the newspaper said, "the essence for the rise of India lies in how to be an independent country, to learn to solve the complicated ethnic and religious issues, to protect the country from terrorist attacks, to boost economic development as well as to put more efforts on poverty alleviation.''
But India's hegemonic designs face geopolitical limitation. "It has the Himalaya mountain to its north, a natural barrier for northward expansion; it has Pakistan to the west, a neighbour it is always at odds over the disputed border issues,'' the article says.
Blaming India for pursuing a foreign policy of "befriend the far and attack the near", it said, "It engaged in the war separately with China and Pakistan and the resentment still simmers. If India really wants to be a superpower, such a policy is shortsighted and immature.''
If India wants to be a superpower, the daily said, it needs to have "its eyes on relations with neighbours and abandon the recklessness and arrogance as the world is undergoing earthshaking changes.
"For India, the ease of tension with China and Pakistan is the only way to become a superpower.''
It said China is "proactively engaging in negotiations with India for the early settlement of border dispute and India should give a positive response".