Chinese newspaper Global Times, in its editorial on 6th April, raised the question if India could "afford the consequence" of ruining ties with China over the issue of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
Strongly opposing Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the paper described it as a "clumsy and rude move" by New Delhi and said the issue could severely dent the ties between the two countries.
"This is a clumsy and rude move. The Dalai is a highly politicized symbol in China's diplomacy. For any country, its attitude toward the Dalai Lama almost affects the entire relationship with China," the paper said.
The newspaper also said that New Delhi "probably overestimates its leverage" in the bilateral ties with China and warned the Indian government against playing the "Dalai Lama card". The editorial was, in fact, headlined 'India's use of Dalai Lama card tactless'.
The paper warned that if New Delhi and Beijing were to turn into "open rivals" could India face the consequences. "The two countries in recent years have continuously strived to improve their relationship and the peace on the border area has been maintained. India has benefited from the good momentum of bilateral relationship as much as China. If New Delhi ruins the Sino-India ties and the two countries turn into open rivals, can India afford the consequence?", the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece said.
The paper boasted China's economic prowess, military might and "good relations" with India's neighbours to put the point across.
"With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India's peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India's turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?" the paper said.
The Global Times editorial also pointed out that the Western countries understood the "nature of the Dalai as a diplomatic card" but India was "bucking the trend".
"The West has fully recognized the nature of the Dalai as a diplomatic card and is extremely prudent in using it. When the Dalai travels to the capital of a Western country, who will meet him, when and where would be carefully weighed," the paper said.
Taking note of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee meeting Dalai Lama, the paper said:"At a time when the Dalai has been given a cold shoulder in many places of the world, New Delhi is bucking the trend and treating him as a favorite."
The paper suggested that India used the 'Dalai Lama card' as per its convenience in dealing with China.
"New Delhi takes a stance that opposes the Dalai Lama engaging in anti-China activities on the soil of India; however, it has long attempted to use the Dalai Lama as a card. When India emphasizes the relationship with China, it would place a tight control on the Dalai. When it has a grudge against China, it may prompt the Dalai to play certain tricks as a signal sent to China," an editorial in the Global Times said.