China Deletes Social Media Post Mocking India's Corona Crisis Amid Outrage
By: Annanya Rana
The ill-intentioned meme - which was shared from an administration account - included an image showing a Chinese rocket carrier blasting off to space on the left with a photo of cremation pyres in India burning under the watch of people in hazmat suits juxtaposed to the right. The caption read: “When China sets things on fire vs when India does it.”
Social media posts by an arm of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mocking India's coronavirus crisis have been deleted, following domestic backlash and international outrage over what is being perceived on the global stage as ‘a clumsy attempt to stoke nationalism’.
The account who made the insensitive posts is linked to the Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, a powerful regulatory body tasked with overseeing the country's judiciary and law enforcement bodies.
The offending post, made on local microblogging site Weibo, is an image showing a Chinese rocket carrier blasting off to space on the left with a photo of cremation pyres in India burning under the watch of people in hazmat suits juxtaposed to the right. The caption read: “When China sets things on fire vs when India does it.”
The meme was shared by several other Chinese government accounts.
One of the meme’s earliest and most prominent detractors is Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a state-run newspaper known for its nationalist stance. He stated, “I don't think it's proper for social media accounts of certain Chinese official institutions or other influential forces to mock India at its present tragedy. It is done by the worst of us. Those with such low regard for life are not welcome to the party.”
Millions of Chinese social media users were shocked by the pictures.
“I can't believe this was posted by an administration account. Why do you need to use the suffering of others to highlight national Pride?” a user was quoted on Bloomberg.
“How can this be sanctioned by the censors? It is the complete disrespect of human life,” another was quoted on AP.
The post was removed from Weibo soon after President Xi Jinping on Friday sent a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and offered cooperation in dealing with the situation created by the virus. Xi was quoted by the Xinhua news agency saying that China is willing to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation with its south-western neighbour, and provide support and help India. He also sent condolences over the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Another deleted post that first appeared on Friday compared China's “Fire God Mountain”, the name of the emergency hospital complex built in Wuhan with a photo of mass cremation in Delhi on the official Weibo account of China's Ministry of public security. It too was criticised, with social media users calling it “morally problematic”.
Military tensions which had broken between India and China has
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