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China reacts cautiously to launch of Agni-V

September 16, 2013 18:39 IST

Reacting cautiously to India's second launch of ballistic missile Agni-V that has a strike range of over 5,000 km, China on Monday said both sides should make concerted efforts to enhance political trust and asked the media to play a more conducive role to improve bilateral ties.

"We have noted relevant reports and comments and hope relevant media can do more, that is conducive to the growth of China-India relations and regional peace and stability," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei told reporters when asked for his reaction to the second successful launch of Agni-V.

"Both China and India are important emerging economies and natural cooperative partners. Both sides should make concerted efforts to enhance political mutual trust and work peace and stability of this region," he said.

Unlike its first test launch last year, Sunday's test of Agni-V evoked subdued reactions in Chinese media.

The state-run Xinhua news agency as well the official China Daily reported about the launch and took note of the successful test firing of the nuclear capable missile, which brings into its range several major cities of China.

When the missile was first test fired last year, it evoked mixed reactions among Chinese strategic analysts. While one expert termed it as a "milestone" in propelling India into exclusive club of countries with intercontinental ballistic missiles another analyst said it reflected India’s plans to become world power.

"No doubt it is a milestone for India," Fu Xiaoqiang, a Chinese expert on South Asia at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said reacting to the launch of Agni-V.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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