New Delhi : Upset with negative media coverage of his talks here, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Friday hit out at the Indian media saying it was causing “much damage” to bilateral ties.
Alluding to the Indian media’s reporting of the boundary issue, which figured in his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday, the Chinese leader said that “not a single shot had been fired” nor had there been any “exchanges in border areas” between the troops.
The boundary question has “repeatedly been sensationalised’ by the media after which leaders of the two countries have had to “repair the damage and harm”, he said at an interaction with select editors from Indian and Chinese media.
Wen exhorted the media to play a more active role in enhancing friendship. “A good neighbour is a blessing. We must be good neighbours,” Wen stressed.
Sections of the Indian media Friday were critical of how Wen’s talks with Manmohan Singh failed to meet India’s key concerns on stapled visas to people from Jammu and Kashmir, terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil and its aspirations to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
After the talks Thursday, the two sides signed six agreements in areas ranging from media and cultural exchanges to green technologies, sharing of hydrological data on the Sutlej and collaboration between their banks.
During the three-day trip, the two sides set an ambitious trade target of $100 billion by 2015 and agreed to resolve contentious issues like stapled visas for residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
Wen stressed that it was undeniable that in the long history between the two countries there was “a page of twists and turns”, a veiled reference to the 1962 China-Indian war. Wen said it was a “short page”, and it was time the two countries “turned over that page”.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, called on Wen Friday, the last meeting the Chinese leader had in India before leaving for Islamabad.