Beijing: The media of both China and India need to be more positive about bilateral relations to remove misconceptions among the people of the two countries about each other, according to a leading Chinese daily.
“Although we are in the age of the Internet, the majority of the general public in both China and India rely heavily on their domestic media to learn about each other,” the article in the Global Times said.
Referring to an incident in 2012 when some Indian businessmen were held in a place called Yiwu in Chian`s Zhejiang province for non-payment of debts, it said the coverage of the incident by the Indian media was one-sided as some details of the reports were not accurate while some could not be confirmed.
“Of course, I don`t mean to just criticise some Indian media outlets for what they have done in their coverage of China. In some cases, Chinese media also have pretty big room for improvement in terms of their coverage of India,” the article`s author Chen Ping, deputy managing editor of the Global Times, stated.
The author cited a BBC World Service Poll this year, which showed that 36 percent of Indians viewed China positively and 27 percent negatively while in the case of the Chinese, 23 percent viewed India positively and as much as 45 percent negatively.
“Chinese media surely contributed greatly to the higher figures on the China side, thanks to some of their selective, imbalanced, even biased coverage of India,” the article stated.
The author then referred to a personal mini-survey he conducted among his friends about their perception of India.
“...a female respondent said without any hesitation: `Rape, and gang rape`. This is sad, in the sense that the general public in China knows too little about India,” the author observed.
According to the article, the media in both the countries “can do a lot to promote two-way understanding by providing true, balanced coverage of events taking place in China as well as India”.
“Reporters from both countries should have more contacts and more frequent exchanges of views and ideas,” it stated.
“China and India are bound by geographical location, so they should be good neighbours, good friends and good partners, and they should understand each other and respect each other.”
The article concluded with a comment made by Mahatma Gandhi in 1948: "I long for the day when a free India and a free China will cooperate together in friendship and brotherhood for their own good and for the good of Asia and the world."