Rajat Sharma

How Chinese media is playing the victim card before the world

For the first time in the last 60 years, China has been forced to withdraw from flash points. This was because Prime Minister Modi was leading from the front. He went to the border to galvanize the troops.

akb2301Official sources have now confirmed that Chinese troops have withdrawn from Patrolling Point 14 of Galwan Valley in Ladakh. They have dismantled their tents and taken away their artillery. The disengagement process in Gogra-Hot Springs is expected to be complete within the next few days, as dismantling of Chinese structures continue.

The most interesting part is that the Chinese state media is now trying to project its army as the victim before the world. Chinese state-controlled media has alleged that it was India which created a war scenario in Ladakh and that India has ‘expansionist’ designs. The Chinese media is trying hard to point out that the structures shown in Galwan Valley in satellite images belong to Indian army. The official Chinese television CCTV has alleged there was large deployment of Indian troops near the LAC and that the Indian Prime Minister himself went to the border to address his troops.

The Chinese state media further alleged that it was India which banned 59 Chinese apps and imposed restrictions on trade with China. The Chinese have also alleged that India has joined hands with the US and is buying aircraft and weapons from Russia. Chinese media is also showing pictures of Rafale aircraft bought by India from France and MiG-29 fighters, BrahMos missiles and tanks bought from Russia, to project India as a warmonger and China as an innocent victim.

One needs to understand the psychology behind this move by Chinese state-controlled media. It is an open secret that the Chinese Communist Party has full control over media and every show is carefully designed and approved by top bosses.

In one show, the anchor asked six questions from expert guests, about what exactly happened in Galwan valley, who was responsible for the violent clashes, why border confrontations take place in June every year, and why India is buying weapons and aircraft from other world powers. The questions also made mention of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, why India banned 59 Chinee apps and the financial losses that this step would entail.

There was also one question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden visit to the Ladakh border and its consequences. The experts handpicked by Chinese state media dutifully replied to each of these questions defending their country’s policies.

The picture that emerges from this Chinese TV discussion is (1) China, for the first time, is concerned over India building infrastructure near the Line of Actual Control, (2) China is worried over India-US friendship at a time when China-US friendship is on the rocks, and India’s timely decision to buy Sukhoi and MiG-29 aircraft from Russia has also irked the Chinese, and finally (4) the Indian ban on 59 Chinese apps and restrictions on Chinese imports has hurt its industry. The icing on the cake was when Prime Minister Modi made a sudden visit to the border to boost the morale of his jawans.

The Chinese have their own interpretations about all these issues and their state media is trying to project that India is causing worries for China. The real meaning lies somewhere else. China withdrew its troops from border flashpoints because of Modi’s astute diplomacy, massive war preparations and India playing on the front foot. This was the reason behind China withdrawing its troops. The Chinese were afraid of worldwide embarrassment and that is why its state-controlled media is now playing the ‘innocent victim’ card to cover up for its army’s lapses.

China’s wily stunts will no more work because India has the answer to each such stunt. The Chinese leadership and its People’s Liberation Army must not harbour the illusion that now that troops have withdrawn from flashpoints, the Indian armed forces will relax and then the PLA will strike again. If the Chinese army does so, it should be ready to face a big, big surprise.

For the first time in the last 60 years, China has been forced to withdraw from flash points. This was because Prime Minister Modi was leading from the front. He went to the border to galvanize the troops.

As a leader of a nation of 130 crore people, Modi has the right to address his troops at the border at a critical time, and China should not crib. The Chinese state media is also correct when it says that PM Modi has given a free hand to his army to repel attacks. Yes, the officers of armed forces were directed that they should take the right decision on the spot, depending on the situation and context, and they should not wait for green signals from Delhi. The elected democratic government in India put its full might behind the armed forces, and there is nothing wrong in it when such a critical situation arises.

The Chinese media is also cribbing that its country is facing all sorts of allegations, but the real fact is that it was India which was building roads, bridges , air strips and helipads near the LAC. The Chinese media is correct on this score, but it did not reveal the whole truth. Our army had no intention of occupying No Man’s Land area at the LAC, which the Chinese did by committing unlawful transgressions. Now that the Chinese army has witnessed India’s military build-up, it opted for the retreat option, and in the bargain, it is now making the counter-charge that India is the aggressor.

Despite the beginning of disengagement process, the Indian armed forces are on their toes, keeping a hawk’s eye on Chinese troop movement. During the daytime, army jawans and officers keep watch on the Chinese side, while at night, our MiG-29 fighter jets, Apache helicopters and Chinook heavy lift helicopters are carrying out surveillance in darkness.

There is a proverb in Hindi: “Doodh ka jalaa, chaachh phoonk phoonk kar peeta hai” (once bitten, twice shy). Not even twice, several times. In July 1962, Chinese troops withdrew from Galwan valley. India trusted the Chinese, but they stabbed India in the back, by launching a full-scale war in October the same year. The times have now changed. India has changed. India is ready to repay China back with its own coin.

Let me reveal what the Chinese army is doing now despite the disengagement process. It has installed an acquisition radar at Pangong lake and has hired some local people for the purpose of reconnaissance, to keep an eye on our troop movements. In addition, China has conducted an exercise with its 73 Aviation Brigade.

It is time China must understand that the more mischief it does, the swifter the response it should expect from India. Modi has shown the world how to keep the Chinese dragon under the leash. Even the US is now toeing India’s line. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that his country was “looking at banning Chinese” social media apps, including TikTok. “People should only download the apps if you want your private information in the hands of Chinese Communist Party…we are taking this very seriously”, Pompeo added.

The Chinese social media app companies have incurred huge losses because of India’s ban on 59 Chinese apps. If the US takes a similar step, imagine the financial loss that the Chinese companies may have to incur.

So, it’s now in the reverse direction. The US is taking the cue from India to teach the Chinese a lesson. The whole world has appreciated Narendra Modi’s diplomatic and strategic initiatives. It’s time that the Chinese learn the right lesson and desist from adventurist and expansionist designs.

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