Beijing: China will not feel "jealous" of India's Mars mission success but will have "myriad reasons" to feel delighted at the feat, state media here said Thursday.
"Apparently, China will not feel jealous of Mangalyaan entering Mars orbit. Chinese people understand that they boast much more advanced technological, economic and social development than India does," state-run Global Times said in its editorial titled 'India's Mars success boosts space research'.
"The Indian public fully expressed their elation at having surpassed China in Mars exploration. China's first Mars exploratory probe, Yinghuo-1, went missing one year after its launch in 2011," the editorial said.
Watched by Prime Minister Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists broke into wild cheers and congratulated each other after the 1,350 kg Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft 'Mangalyaan' was manoeuvred into its designated place.
"There is rhetoric on India's Internet that the success of Mangalyaan is pouring salt into China's wounds, which, however, is too serious and strong a characterisation," the article said.
"Actually, Chinese people have myriad reasons to feel delighted at the success of the Mangalyaan probe alongside Indian people," it said.
Soon after Mangalyaan's successful entry into Martian space, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying hailed the achievement as Asia's pride.
"This is pride of India and Pride of Asia and also is the landmark progress in humankind's exploration of outer space. So we congratulate India on that," Hua said.
Almost all the Chinese media featured Mangalyaan's success prominently with photos of celebrations in India.
"The total cost of the Indian mission has been put at Rs 4.5 billion rupees (USD 74 million) cheaper than the cost of making a Hollywood movie," state-run Xinhua news agency said in its report.
The Global Times, known for its nationalistic posture, however, took a dig at India's Martian achievement saying that "If a country that is relatively backward in scientific research is able to send a probe to Mars, it is highly possible that Yinghuo-2 may succeed in the future."
"No country can claim to be a leader in every arena.
India has proved this point in its competition with China, When poor nations participate in the space race, they are often sneered at by others and criticised domestically as well," the Global Times said.
"India's space exploration endeavour, against its prevailing social conditions, should be reflected upon by Chinese people. China's space programme and the relevance to its social development level were subjected to intensive Western public scrutiny, but the West takes China's competitiveness in space seriously now. India reminds us of the importance of taking the first step," it said.
The editorial said "though Yinghuo-1 was outperformed by Mangalyaan, China's aerospace sector has made precious achievements in space, such as manned spaceflight and building space stations. Without these previous efforts, we will still be absent in some core fields."
"Mangalyaan brings us more affirmation than a sense of competition. Among net users from both countries, acrimonious remarks are heard against each other, creating an impression that China and India are mired in deep hostility," it said.
"But any real conflict of interest between the two is much less serious. Bilateral cooperation is entering the prime stage," it added.
China has successfully launched manned missions into space as well as unmanned missions to Moon besides putting dozens of satellites into space at regular intervals.