Beijing, Jan 5 (IANS) India has broken "UN limits" on development of nuclear weapons, a leading Chinese daily said, and demanded that Pakistan should get the same nuclear privileges.
The Global Times also warned that China will not stick "rigidly to nuclear rules" if Western countries accept India as a nuclear country "and are indifferent to the nuclear race between India and Pakistan".
The editorial in the English-language daily, which is known to reflect the thinking of the Chinese Communist leadership, came days after India tested its long-range ballistic missile, Agni-IV.
Agni-IV can travel 4,000 km and carry a nuclear warhead. It followed an earlier successful test firing of Agni-V, which has a range of more than 5,000 km.
"India has broken the UN's limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile," the Times said.
"The US and some Western countries have also bent the rules on its nuclear plans.
"New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world and then it can land on an equal footing with the UN Security Council's five permanent members."
The daily said Beijing wouldn't hold back India's development of long-range ballistic missiles.
"However, Chinese don't feel India's development has posed any big threat to it. And India wouldn't be considered as China's main rival in the long run," it said.
"The best choice for Beijing and New Delhi is to build rapport."
The daily added: "If the Western countries accept India as a nuclear country and are indifferent to the nuclear race between India and Pakistan, China will not stand out and stick rigidly to those nuclear rules as necessary.
"At this time, Pakistan should have those privileges in nuclear development that India has."
The Times also said that while China "is sincere in developing friendly ties with India ... it will not sit still if India goes too far.
"It is not difficult for India to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles which can cover the whole world. If the UN Security Council has no objection over this, let it be.
The range of Pakistan's nuclear missiles will also see an increase. If the world can adapt to these, China should too."
The daily pointed out that India's GDP accounted for about 20 percent of China's.
It said China's strategic nuclear missiles had long ago realized global coverage and China's overall military industrial capacity was much better than India's.
"However, India should realize that owning several missiles does not mean it is a nuclear power. Even though India does become a nuclear power, it will be a long time before it can show off its strength to the world."