Rattled by the back to back successful launches of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-IV and Agni-V missiles, Beijing has communicated the message through its state run media that if India increases the number of its long-range missiles, it will help “all-weather friend” Pakistan also develop long range Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. While Agni-IV is nuclear capable and has a range of 4000 kilometer, Agni-V has a range of about 6000 kilometer, capable of hitting the northern-most parts of China. The threat of equipping Pakistan with similar long range missiles that India have is a sign of how rattled China is by successful test of ICBMs.

The state run Global Times, in an article, said, “If the UN Security Council has no objection over this (ICBMs), let it be. The range of Pakistan’s nuclear missiles will also see an increase. If the Western countries accept India as a nuclear country and are indifferent to the nuclear race between India and Pakistan, China will not stand out and stick rigidly to those nuclear rules as necessary. At this time, Pakistan should have those privileges in nuclear development that India has.” The article also indicated China’s frustration over India’s successful launches of ICBMs and said that China will not sit back if India goes ‘too far’. “…Chinese don’t feel India’s development has posed any big threat to it. And India wouldn’t be considered as China’s main rival in the long run, but it (China) will not sit still if India goes too far…New Delhi understands that it does little good to itself if the Sino-Indian relations are ruined by any geopolitical tricks,” the article went on to say.

While China has repeatedly said that it is not at all threatened by India’s developments in the field of missile, but the article has openly brought in the public China’s frustration over the recent developments. It is rattled over the fact that India has developed ICBMs which can target anywhere in China and also target Europe – an achievement only Big 5 or the five permanent members of UN Security Council had till today. With the successful launch of Agni-IV and Agni-V, India is now at par with US, Russia, France, UK and China and may soon stake its claim for the permanent membership – something which is giving nightmare to China.

“The US and some Western countries have also bent the rules on its nuclear plans. New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world and then it can land on an equal footing with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members,” the editorial in Global Times said.


Kshitij Mohan