Despite the recent show of bonhomie between New Delhi and Beijing, China's territorial instincts remain as strong as ever, judging by the reaction of the state-controlled media to the just-concluded talks between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japan's Shinzo Abe, in which maritime cooperation figured prominently.
"With Singh on his four-day visit to Japan, both sides have discussed maritime security cooperation. A few days ago, when Shinzo Abe, Singh's counterpart, visited Myanmar, it was seen as Japan's attempt to complete a "puzzle game" in order to "encircle China", state-run Global Times daily fumed in its editorial today.
"Japan's strategy for China drives its activity around China's neighbours. But Japan's wishful thinking of encircling China is just an illusion.
''Besides sneaking a few bargains from its competition with China, Japan does not have the strength to prevail over China's influence in Asia," said the editorial, titled 'Diplomatic row due to disoriented Japan'.
An article in the People's Daily two days ago went so far as to call Japanese politicians "petty burglars" for courting India.
On his visit to India about two weeks ago, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to build trust with India, declaring that ties between the Asian giants were a key to world peace.
But going by the reaction of the official media to India's reaching out to other Asian neighbours, one could well assume that Beijing's view of world peace involves Chinese domination of Asia, with India as the tolerated little brother.
China is currently hosting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Beijing is expected to continue pouring billions of dollars of aid and investment in that country, causing heartburn in India which cannot afford to play China's game.