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China deletes insensitive posts on India’s Covid-19 crisis after public outcry

People force China to delete social media posts against India (Photo: IANS)

Two social media posts in poor taste, making fun of the coronavirus tragedy in India, posted by an affiliate of the Communist Party of China (CPC) were deleted after Chinese social media users expressed disgust at their insensitivity.

The post by the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs (CPLA) showed China’s launch of a space rocket with its flames being compared to the fires in India's crematoriums. It was deleted after Chinese online users criticised it. The CPLA had put the two images on the local social media platform, Weibo with a caption that roughly translates as "When lights a fire compared to when India does it”.

The post also mentioned that new coronavirus cases in India crossed 400,000.

Both, The Hindustan Times and Bloomberg News reported about the incident on Sunday.

The social media posts were published around the same days that Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering his support to India in combating the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic.

China also deleted another offensive post that showed China’s 'fire god mountain' hospital built in Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic in 2019, with a photograph of the mass cremations in India. This post was carried on the official Weibo account of China’s Ministry of Public Security.

Both posts were deleted in the face of public criticism.

The offensive posts caught the eye of Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the powerful Global Times newspaper, backed by the CPC. Hu said that official social media accounts should be sensitive in how they should gain traffic.

The past couple of years has seen a rise in aggressive verbal diplomacy by China's infamous 'Wolf Warriors' who have been lashing out at other countries with an undiplomatic viciousness. The Wolf Warriors diplomats have rebuked countries like Australia, India, the US and many European nations over local or global issues that China does not see eye to eye with.

Chinese diplomats have retorted in offensive or disparaging remarks about the spread of coronavirus in Europe, American policies in the Indo-Pacific, Australian efforts at digging out the truth behind the spread of the novel coronavirus and India's offensive in Ladakh – all with a view to showing itself in global good light.

After years of much bonhomie, riding on the personal rapport between the top leaders of the two nations, India and China relations nosedived around May 2020 after India found Chinese troops camping inside its Ladakh border. Relations went down further after Chinese troops attacked Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley, leading to dozens of casualties on both sides.

Relations between the two nations have been tense for about a year owing to the border tensions. With China bringing in heavily armed soldiers on the border, India too mirrored the Chinese deployment. Eleven rounds of talks between the two nations have not shown much progress as China refused to budge from Indian territory.