The official news agency Xinhua put out a factual report on the launch, without any commentary. Even the rather more stridently nationalist Global Times, which has in recent times kept up a barrage of articles criticising India's "unwise military moves", offered no immediate comment.
Xinhua, however, amplified a Pakistan Navy spokesman's comment that India's launch of a nuclear-powered submarine would "trigger a nuclear arms race" and "destabilise the region".
Shijie Junshie (Global Military) magazine executive editor Chen Hu, a military historian and specialist in strategic affairs, said the muted international response to India's announcement of its nuclear-powered submarine programme reflected the world's "duplicitous" efforts to focus attention away from the development.
"If, instead of India, it had been Iran or North Korea that had made this announcement, there would have been a more stirring response from the international community... There would have been economic, diplomatic, and military sanctions and intimidation -- and even the threat of war," he noted.
Global Times has been far more shrill in recent weeks, and one of its most recent articles on India's "unwise military moves" remains one of the 'most commented' articles on its website. That article bluntly said: "India sees China as both a potential threat and a competitor to surpass. But India cannot compete with China in a number of areas, like international influence, overall national power, and economic scale. India apparently has not realised this."
Indian politicians "seem to think their country would be doing China a huge favour simply by not joining the 'ring around China' established by the US and Japan," the article speculated. It further claimed that India believes China will respond with "fear and gratitude" and "defer" to India on territorial disputes. "But this is wishful thinking, as China won't make any compromises in its border disputes with India. And while China wishes to coexist peacefully, this desire isn't born out of fear."