Beijing: The Chinese official media is
beginning to lift its decades-long reservation on providing
more coverage on India, with a number of journalists from this
country travelling to Indian cities for first-hand reporting
and coming back impressed.
"I find Indians more optimistic and content," a young
scribe, who was part of journalists who visited India at the
invitation of the Indian government, told a get-together at
the Indian embassy here.
Her comments prompted Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar to
ask whether she think Indians are more optimistic than their
She said Indians appeared less complaining compared to
the Chinese and seemed more optimistic, though India still had
to travel some distance to catch up with China.
Over 40 Chinese journalists visited India since January
last year, the highest in over the six decade-long bilateral
relations, and more are going on their own to write on variety
of issues of their interest.
Many of those who gathered at the reception yesterday
were unanimous in their views that their visits were a
revelation and eye-opener about India as they had a different
perception considering the country`s problems relating to
poverty and underdevelopment, which often get highlighted.
A host of impressions were aired, including India`s
problems relating to terrorism in the aftermath of Mumbai bomb
blasts, friendly nature of Indians towards the Chinese
contrary to feelings of enmity and competition, poor
infrastructure compared to China and strides India made in IT
and Science and Technology.
While some were impressed with deep roots the democracy
has taken in India, others wondered whether it was an impeding
factor for development as unlike in China infrastructure
projects get bogged down in litigations.
One journalist was categorical in stating that his visit
highlighted the limitations for China to have friendship with
India considering its own strategic ties with Pakistan.
China cannot give up its close relationship with Pakistan
for strategic reasons, he said.
Another journalist was struck by the demographic
dividend India is reaping. While China is beginning to saddle
with growing old age population, India is bubbling with youth
which could turn out to be advantageous in future.
Whatever the perceptions, Indian analysts and officials
agreed that the India content in the Chinese media, which was
dismal until a few years ago, was on the increase.
"There has been a change. There is more of India in
heavily-controlled Chinese media, specially in the Chinese
language media unlike in the previous times when India is
totally blanked out," Prof B R Deepak of Centre of Chinese and
Southeast Asian Studies, JNU, said.