The state-run media in China on Wednesday asked India to “cool its missile fever”, two days after the country successfully test-fired Agni-IV, a a nuclear weapons-capable strategic missile. An editorial in the Global Times accused New Delhi of breaking United Nations-imposed limits on the development of nuclear arms and long-range weapons.
“New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target any place in the world,” the editorial said, adding that the Indian government was aiming to place itself “on an equal footing” with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, of which China is one.
The editorial called on Beijing and New Delhi “to build [a] rapport” between themselves, though it said China would not consider India its “main rival in the long run”. “[The] Chinese don’t feel [that] India’s development has posed any big threat to it...there is a vast disparity in power between the two countries and India knows what it would mean if it poses a nuclear threat to China.”
However, while China is “sincere in developing” friendly relations with India, “it will not sit still if India goes too far”, the editorial said. India currently has the Agni-I (700-km range), Agni-II (2,000-km range), Agni-III, Agni IV (upto 4,000 km) and the Agni-V, which is its most powerful missile in terms of navigation, guidance, warhead and engine. The 5,000-km range Agni V missile was successfully flight tested on December 26, 2016, following which Beijing raised doubts about whether the project complies with the UN Security Council’s rules.