Chinese propaganda outlets accuse India of pursuing 'territorial revisionist policy,' claim New Delhi trying to divert attention from COVID-19 crisis

Mouthpieces of the Chinese government have sought to link the clashes along the LAC with India's efforts to 'divert attention from the government's incompetence in handling the COVID-19.'

FP Staff June 24, 2020 21:39:50 IST
Chinese propaganda outlets accuse India of pursuing 'territorial revisionist policy,' claim New Delhi trying to divert attention from COVID-19 crisis

While talks are on between military commanders of India and China to defuse tensions along the Line of Actual Control, Bejing's propaganda machine continues to operate in full swing. Mouthpieces of the Chinese government have linked the clashes in the Galwan Valley with India's efforts to 'divert attention from the government's incompetence in handling the COVID-19 ,' and alleged that they are part of the country's 'territorial revisionist policy.'

For instance, take this article in Global Times. It alleged that India had earlier promised to not cross the estuary of the Galwan River to patrol and build facilities.

The article quoted Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, as saying, "...India, which tried to divert domestic attention from the government's incompetence in handling the COVID-19 and its economic slide, broke its promises and unilaterally stirred up trouble less than 10 days after the first meeting."

Chinese propaganda outlets accuse India of pursuing territorial revisionist policy claim New Delhi trying to divert attention from COVID19 crisis

Representational image. Getty images

The report further noted, "Although stirring up a war is unlikely, Chinese border troops must prepare for the worst-case scenario."

In another article, Global Times has also referred to the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to support the claim that India is following a 'territorial revisionist policy.' It referred to recent allegations by Pakistan of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, and its claim that the violation led to the death of a teenage civilian. The newspaper has sought to place the blame on India for the clashes along the LoC. It quoted Lan Jianxue, associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, as saying that the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status last year "is the main cause of the subsequent turmoil of frequent exchanges of fire between the two countries."

In a similar vein, other Chinese outlets also accused India of 'deliberate provocation' along the LAC. Xinhua, the official state-run news agency of the Chinese government, alleged that Indian troops trespassed into Indian territory way back on 6 May. An article by the agency alleged that Indian soldiers "built fortification and barricades and impeded the patrol of Chinese border troops, in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of border control and management. The Chinese border troops have been forced to take necessary responding measures and strengthen management and control in these areas."

Earlier, Chinese propaganda outlets sought to debunk the 'boycott China' campaigns in India and warned New Delhi of a 'humiliating defeat' in the event of a full-fledged war.

China's allegations about the Indian government trying to divert attention from the COVID-19 crisis come on a day when India's tally of infections has risen to 4,56,183 and the toll to 14,476. In the past 24 hours, India has registered 15,968 coronavirus cases and 465 deaths due to the disease.

On the other hand, India's Ministry of External Affairs has affirmed that all of its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC.

India Today quoted MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava as saying that the face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there (Galwan)" on the late evening and night of 15 June.

Srivastava added, "Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side."

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