Sikkim standoff: Many Chinese citizens feel New Delhi ‘provoking’ Beijing
Many online citizens feel that increasing ties between India and the US have played a part in triggering the standoff and are of the opinion that China shouldn’t hesitate to go battle to protect its territory.Updated: Jul 08, 2017 20:54 IST
Hindustan Times, Beijing
The Chinese government has diplomatically been on the aggressive against India in the ongoing standoff between soldiers of the two countries near the Sikkim sector.
The reaction of Chinese citizens’ reactions, however, has evolved in the past two weeks — scepticism that the two countries will go to war, some anger that Indian soldiers had “trespassed” into Chinese territory, but primarily with a shrug, saying the impasse wasn’t that important to them. As yet.
Till Friday, the Sikkim standoff topic was not among the top 10 “hot” topics on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
Many among the online citizens sharing thoughts and views on the incident feel that India has provoked China by crossing into its territory. They feel that increasing close diplomatic and military ties between India and the US have played a part in triggering the standoff and are of the opinion that China shouldn’t hesitate to go battle to protect its territory.
Chinese newspapers and websites have of course splashed the news – and the Chinese perspectives on the standoff – prominently. Cartoons and tweets have been circulated widely as well.
A blog written by Wangcha Sangey, a lawyer from Bhutan, was widely shared online after it was translated in Chinese by news websites. The tone of the blog was a hit among Chinese online users.
“Bhutan is placed in a near-impossible position. China will never surrender the strategic position that she had already gained at Doklam Plateau during negotiation on international boundary with India (the state of Sikkim). And India is insisting upon Bhutan to wrest from China larger portion of Doklam Plateau that India could not get whilst negotiating with China on Sikkim-Tibet international boundary,” the blog quoted by the Chinese media said.
As HT noted earlier, many Weibo users had been talking about the “annexation” of Sikkim by India and said a similar situation should not arise with Bhutan.
“Please Xi dada (President Xi Jinping is popularly called ‘big daddy’) greatly help the people of Sikkim to restore their country. You (people in Sikkim) won’t feel safe around the Indians,” one Weibo user had written.
“We should not allow India’s annexation of Sikkim. When I was in elementary school, Sikkim was still a country,” another Weibo user said.
But the anger online against India hasn’t become hatred.
At the best of times, Chinese citizens’ opinion and impressions of India is not entirely positive. India’s poverty levels, the problem of women’s safety and the gap between the rich and poor in India are some of negative aspects that are often discussed here, often triggered by incidents.
At the same time, many Chinese are in awe of India’s cultural richness and diversity.
The Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal has also led to a renewed interest in Indian movies. The movie, which was a huge hit here and made more money than in India, has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times after it was released on the video-sharing platform of Youku.
First Published: Jul 08, 2017 15:31 IST