China and India are pulling back frontline troops from their mountain border where they have been in a standoff for months. (AP file)
China and India are pulling back frontline troops from their mountain border where they have been in a standoff for months. (AP file)

Anti-India propaganda continues online in China

The Sino-India joint statement issued late on Sunday night to announce the completion of disengagement of troops at Pangong lake did not stop the relentless anti-India blitz.
By Sutirtho Patranobis | Edited by Vinod Janardhanan
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2021 12:35 AM IST

Chinese netizens continued posting videos and photos related to the four PLA troops who died and one who was injured in the June 15 Galwan Valley clash with the Indian army, three days after the information about casualties were first made public.

Videos of the deadly clash – first shared on Friday via official social media handles – were shared across Chinese online platforms including the Twitter-like Weibo, WeChat, and Douyin, the local version of TikTok, on Monday.

The tightly censured online world of China – where seldom any post deemed unfit by the Communist Party of China passes through – has been replete with anti-India propaganda where the India army and its troops have been portrayed as the aggressors.

The Sino-India joint statement issued late on Sunday night to announce the completion of disengagement of troops at Pangong lake did not stop the relentless anti-India blitz.

Thousands of abusive messages have already targeted the Indian embassy’s Twitter-like Weibo account since Friday, many of them peppered with expletives.

State media outlets, websites and bloggers are on an overdrive to sing praise for China and its armed forces, and the restraint they showed against Indian soldiers despite being more powerful.

The most searched hashtag was “they died for me,” state-run China Daily newspaper said in a report on Monday.

A Weibo user using the name Yuedingchengshu wrote: “Dusk arrives. Steamed rice in my bowl. Soft drink in my hand. Can’t fathom why sturdy soldiers die. I woke up in the middle of the night, startled to realize: They died for me.”

The post was widely circulated online, the China Daily news report said.

Pictures of the four soldiers and their funeral rituals were also widely circulated online. In one, Chen Xiangrong, one of the four deceased troops, is shown smiling at the camera with a half-peeled orange in his hands.

Some other trending topics read: “10 details of the border clash scene”, “One soldier is one boundary marker”, “Not an inch of the motherland can be lost” and “The diaries and letters of the five border heroes”.

Elsewhere, Chinese authorities have been quick to arrest at least three persons who had “slandered” online the PLA troops.

Details of their comments were not shared.

“The police stated that cyberspace is not a lawless void and the police will resolutely punish the behavior of slandering and insulting heroes without factual basis according to law,” an official Chinese military website reported.

“In recent years, the persons involved in defaming heroes and martyrs have received severe punishment, fully showing that the Chinese rule of law has zero-tolerance for similar words and deeds,” it added.

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