Beijing– India is fooling itself if it thinks its economy will bloom by siding with the US, an influential Chinese newspaper said on Tuesday.

The state-run Global Times warned in an editorial that “overestimating US-India economic ties may mislead India and send it down the wrong path for economic development”.

It told New Delhi to work with a “manufacturing powerhouse” like China.

The editorial came after Assocham said India was likely to be harmed by the trade war between the US and China. It said India’s service exports to Americans firms would be hit if it did not side with the US.

“It would be naive for India to assume that its economy will boom if it draws closer to the upcoming Trump administration amid a pending trade war between Beijing and Washington,” said the daily.

US President-elect Donald Trump has threatened China with high taxes on Chinese goods and accused it of devaluing Chinese currency.

Assocham’s advise to India to “lean toward Washington” to avoid being implicated and be ready to reap economic gains appears pragmatic but could prove short-sighted, said the daily, which is known to reflect the thinking in the Chinese Communist leadership.

“New Delhi needs to be realistic in terms of growth.

“Instead of tilting toward the US, it should focus on developing its manufacturing industry and integrating itself into the global supply chain…

“To achieve that, the best way is to work with a manufacturing powerhouse like China and develop its manufacturing capacity to become an integral part of the Asian supply chain.”

The paper said India was mistaken if it thought the US needed India more than it needs China.

“The weight of economic ties between China and the US is heavier than those between India and the US.

“Bilateral trade between China and the US reached $558 billion in 2015 while trade between India and US was about $109 billion.

“It would be self-deceptive to believe that the US needs India more than it does China.”

China is the top trade partner of the US and over 120 countries.

“India needs to realize that there is no shortcut when it comes to economic development. Failing to realize this, India risks setting its economy on a dead-end route,” the editorial said. (IANS)