The incident reveals a persistent anti-Indian, and a broader anti-religious, prejudice.
by Liu Wangmin
What are the Chinese Communist Party’s real feelings about the tragedy of COVID-19 in India? Officially, President Xi Jinping has sent his sympathy to India, and has offered to help. However, he cannot control the anti-Indian feelings fueled by countless propaganda articles after the recent border disputes.
On May 1, the official microblog account of the CCP Political and Legal Committee news website released a composite image titled “China ignites vs India ignites,” with the hashtag “India Epidemic,” suggesting that “China ignites to launch a rocket, India ignites to burn bodies. China ignites rockets, India ignites cremations.”
The offensive message was eventually deleted, reportedly after protests by the Indian Embassy in Beijing, but not before it had been forwarded and generated both critical comments and praise by the usual Chinese trolls, who compared China’s cutting-edge technology and space station program with “backward” India. Some explicitly attacked Indian religion, and saw in the country’s deep religiosity the roots of its alleged “backwardness” and problems.
On April 29, the same CCP microblog had posted another comparison between the construction site of the Vulcan Mountain Hospital in Wuhan on the left and an open-air crematorium in India on the right, with the comment “China’s Vulcan Mountain, India’s Vulcan Mountain,” commenting, “Delhi, India to change dog crematorium to human use.” The post went viral on Weibo before being deleted.
Offensive posts can always be deleted. But they reveal a contempt for the victims and for human life. This is the logical result of propaganda against India, its religion, and its culture, which has been not only tolerated but promoted by the CCP for months. This propaganda in turn goes beyond India, and promotes the idea that a materialist culture is by definition superior to a religious one.