File photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The Op-ed page article said it is not hard to understand why the Maldives committed to the "India First" policy to "assuage" concerns of New Delhi.
China's right-leaning newspaper Global Times declared today that India harbours "a sense of superiority" in relations with South Asian countries.
Referring to Maldivian foreign minister Mohamed Asim's visit to India last week, the state-run China daily said New Delhi regards itself as a "key player" in diplomacy with the Maldives.
Last month Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had met Chinese President Xi and inked a number of trade deals including a memorandum of understanding(MoU) on OBOR and a free trade agreement.
The Chinese daily said New Delhi was extremely dissatisfied with the Maldives signing a free trade agreement with Beijing. The newspaper reported that during his visit, Asim reiterated Maldives' "India First" policy, adding that PM Modi also declared that India will ever be a "reliable and close neighbour" of the Indian Ocean country.
"India insists on a superior status in its neighbours' foreign policies, and has been wanting these countries to follow the "India First" policy since the end of World War-II," the newspaper said, adding that,"the era when international relations were based on hierarchical differences no longer exists."
"India, dealing with neighbouring countries with a sense of superiority, triggered dissatisfaction," it said.
"Pakistan became the first South Asian nation to challenge New Delhi's arrogance and seeks ties with India on equal terms. New Delhi pushed back and ties worsened," the newspaper added.
"When China initiated the practice of a new type of modern international relations based on equality and win-win cooperation, it was warmly welcomed by other nations in South Asia. India believes this poses a big challenge to its own diplomacy," the newspaper said.
"Insisting on superiority over other countries as a diplomatic policy will not only impede the development of international relations, but also draw the country into a "superiority" quagmire," the Global Times said.
The Op-ed page article said it is therefore not hard to understand why the Maldives committed to the "India First" policy to "assuage" concerns of New Delhi.
"Old concepts like power politics, hegemonism and hierarchical distinctions are gradually being abandoned. Ties based on mutual respect, fairness and justice as well as win-win cooperation," the state-run Chinese daily said, concluding,"As an emerging power, India should no longer stick to outdated principles, but promote change and development of global ties."