China uses juxtaposition to mock India’s COVID situation: Ironical much?

The second wave has hit India in an absolute devasting manner. The sudden surge of cases has left the entire populace in a situation of desperation given the massive shortage of health facilities. India had crossed the 400,000 cases per day and this is indeed a moment health emergency. With various loopholes in the existing health care system, these loopholes should have been taken care of but the need of the hour is to grapple with the virus and ensure safety for the populace. The Indian government over the past months have been working tirelessly calling for international help to facilitate the government in managing the outbreak of the second wave. In a situation where people are succumbing to the virus, one should wonder how to act morally, however, this week saw a startling move by China. The word being used to describe the act is ‘juxtaposition’. Earlier this week, a post through the Weibo account having a link with the Chinese Communist Party posted on social media to contrast the stark realities of China and India. The post showed a rocket being launched by the Chinese government to space and alongside was the photo of burning pyres from India. The post caused a spark on social media and finally led to the post being deleted but one ponders over the thought that was this so-called juxtaposition to show the Chinese supremacy?

Image source: FT

The post from the Weibo account came within 24 hours after President Xi Jinping extended his condolences to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the number of deaths that were reported in a single day. However, should one normalize this behaviour from China given that even during a humanitarian crisis all it could come up with was a juxtaposition? The photo was posted with the title ‘Chinese Ignition versus Indian Ignition’. Though the post was deleted, netizens were quick enough to take screenshots of the same and circulate it even further. Responding to the backlash at the post, the Global Times Editor-in-Chief, Hu Xijin mentioned, “Hold high the banner of humanitarianism at this time, show sympathy for India, and firmly place Chinese society on a moral high ground,” with no sign of a formal apology from the government itself. The inappropriate gesture on part of the Chinese questions on the atmosphere maintained by India and its neighbours. China’s attitude of reigning as a lone warrior and emerging as the one true power could be a rationale aspiration, but the brutality of thoughts expressed through the post is condemning. Although it wasn’t the first time that such juxtaposition posts appeared on the internet but using the image of burning pyres straight away indicates a sense of mockery towards India’s situation.

China as a country has always tried to showcase its supremacy and over the years, especially under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party seems to have grown wings to defend the state even at its worst. Previously too, there were certain media posts made by the accounts related to the party and never for once was any apology received from their end. A New York Times article called this behaviour of China as ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy. The report stated, “this combative style, widely described as “wolf warrior” diplomacy, has won praise at home, but drawn anger abroad.” It might appear ironic that when China’s draconian rules have put questions to the massive amount of censorship meted out to Hong Kong’s media outlets, it carries no amount of censorship or even the slightest filter on content being posted. The idea here is hence clear of the propaganda being carried out by China and its state party.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Since last year, the relations between India and China have been ambiguous after the border dispute. Although commander level talks and the start of the disengagement process started earlier this year, the countries remain wary of each other. As India appears to side with the West over its involvement in the QUAD, China has time and again responded bitterly to it. But the post used a juxtaposition to point out contrasting realities of two countries have gone too far and the pursual of diplomatic exchanges might not appear pragmatic. But China’s action is condemning and it must realize that a pandemic as worse as this one needs humanitarian assistance instead of some random juxtaposition of rockets and pre. China accused of severe human right abuses and draconian rules posting content on the internet appears ironic. Humanism over anything must be the bastion of change now.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Arijita Sinha Roy

Arijita Sinha Roy is a former Associate Editor at The Kootneeti.

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