Chinese media denounces ‘groundless Pak’ reports on death of Indian soldiers
China’s official media on Tuesday “denounced groundless” reports by a section of Pakistani news outlets claiming the death of 158 Indian soldiers in attacks by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) amid a military standoff along the border with Sikkim.
According to Dunya News, a 24-hours Urdu language news service in Pakistan, the Indian soldiers were killed, and several others were injured, on Monday in a Chinese rocket attack across the border.
India’s external affairs ministry on Monday denied the report, calling it “malicious propaganda”.
A day later, China’s official and mainstream media denied the report.
“Chinese mainstream media outlets on Tuesday denounced Pakistani media’s “groundless” report, which claims that over 150 Indian soldiers were killed in Sikkim due to a Chinese rocket attack,” the People’s Daily online said.
“According to an investigative report released by the People’s Daily on Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in India had noticed the report and has denounced its authenticity. Some Pakistani media outlets claim that the fake news is based on unverified information from social media and the Internet,” the PD article said.
The nationalistic tabloid Global Times also published a report on Tuesday, calling the Pakistani media report “groundless and fake.”
Several other news portals on social media published reports, denying the story.
A report in the Chinese version of the Global Times pointed out that the photographs carried with Pakistani media story were from “…conflict in the Kashmir region.”
On Monday, MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said “such reports are utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous. No cognisance should be taken of them by responsible media”.
Border troops from India and China are locked in standoff near the Sikkim border for about a month. But it has not escalated into exchange of fire.
China has blamed New Delhi for the ongoing Donglang (Doklam) impasse, accusing Indian soldiers of trespass and preventing Chinese soldiers from building a road in the region, which is also claimed by Bhutan.
Beijing wants India to withdraw its troops from Donglang before the two sides can open talks. New Delhi says the road, if built, will have serious security implications for India.