With a new devastating COVID-19 outbreak, India has its number of accumulative cases break through 19 million. Over the past 24 hours, 400 thousand cases of infection nationwide have been reported, which is the new record of the total number of cases of infection per day worldwide. The total number of accumulative deaths in the country has already been over 210 thousand. Specialists estimated that the actual numbers of cases of infection and deaths are higher than the figures from the official statistics. The entire world is concerned about the outbreak in India for the country is running short of supply of oxygen, ventilators and drugs. The US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Ireland and Rumania have been sending ventilators and oxygen cylinders over. Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong revealed that since April this year, China had provided India with 5,000 ventilators, 21,569 oxygen generators, more than 21.48 million surgical masks and 3.8 thousand tons of drugs. Xi Jinping gave India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi a consolatory call on April 30, expressing that China would help India fight the plague.
On the day after Xi’s call, the official Weibo account held by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPLAC) issued a picture holding up the epidemic disaster in India to ridicule in a nationalistic yet anti-human manner. The picture is a side-by-side demonstration of a photo of a Chinese rocket blasting off and a photo of personnel in full body protective suits lighting up corpses in India, with a caption on it that reads “ignition in China vs ignition in India” and “#more than 400 thousand confirmed cases in India per day#”. A great number of little pinks(young jingoistic Chinese nationalists on the internet) on the mainland responded in agreement, applauded and hailed for the epidemic outbreak in India, taking pleasure in others’ misfortune, while some mainlanders criticized the official media for being “devoid of humanity”.
Propaganda in defiance of ethic
No one will be surprised at any propaganda campaign in a wolf-warrior manner by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), for China’s diplomats are already accustomed to deriding Australia and Japan with Photoshopped pictures. Borrowed-interest posts have been popular for quite a while on the internet. Even so, borrowed-interest publicity launched by diplomats and party-run mouthpieces is barely seen all over the globe, as it is easy for such pungent and mean ridicule to give rise to a diplomatic crisis. The worldwide intensification of anti-communism and anti-China sentiments has a lot to do with such official deeds done in bad taste. What was peculiar this time was that on the one hand, Xi had just given a consolatory call to Modi and expressed China would help India fight on; on the other hand, the party-run mouthpiece ridiculed India for failing to fend off the disease. Was it “gao ji hei”( high-level sophisticated ingratiation but with a manipulative or sarcastic undertone)? I don’t think so. What it has evinced is that the so-called consolatory call to India was just a gesture working in concert with the publicity given by the CPLAC aimed at domestic audience. Both a positive and a negative campaign took the advantage of the epidemic outbreak in India to accentuate how brilliant the CCP is, how superior the China model is, and how confident they are in the way of development they chose! Whenever there is a calamity anywhere in the world, be it natural or man-made, they would come forward to borrow the disaster and tease around in haste, capitalizing on the same old trick to elaborate on the superiority of the China model. With only a story of the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” on their mind, they think that the entire world should be the backdrop for the great rejuvenation of the nation. Never tired of borrowing any interest available around, they even do it in defiance of ethic and humanity.
Worse still, while the CCP is always grumbling about the term “Wuhan pneumonia” smearing and discriminating against China, the media are using mutated variant in “the UK”, “South Africa” and “India”, stigmatizing other countries. Eating game is an inferior food culture that got the whole world implicated – the death toll from the disease has been over 3 million; investment of more than ten billion in the Olympic Games by Japan wasted. What kind of ethical standard does it take for a person to come up with such a notion that the “unprecedented pandemic” is an excellent opportunity to roll out a propaganda campaign for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, making use of the catastrophe China brought about alone to make merry over another’s mishap?
(Lau Sai-leung, political commentator)
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