Source: GLOBAL TIMES 22:03 Apr 26 2020
The Atlantic magazine published an article titled "Indians Aren't Buying China's Narrative" on Tuesday, claiming that despite China's "diplomatic push" to help the world contain the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-China sentiment has soared in India. According to the article, some Indians fault China for allowing the virus to spread and they use racist terms such as "Wuhan virus" to refer to the novel coronavirus. There have always been anti-China sentiment and anti-China forces in India. India is a large country with great diversity, and it is normal that there are different opinions on China. Relations between China and India have remained tepid these years. Ever since the 1962 Sino-Indian War, there have been anti-China forces in India. Some Indians have become bolder in attacking China after racist words such as the "Wuhan virus" and "Chinese virus" were widely used by US politicians.But India should not be roped into the US-proposed Indo-Pacific Strategy. While the US is attempting to take advantage of India, it will not be easily used by the US. The Indo-Pacific Strategy allows the two countries to exploit the other. For the US, India is an important partner to contain China. India, meanwhile, hopes to use the US to elevate its international status so it can better bargain with China. India wants to gain the advantage on both sides. In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US has not helped India at all. US President Donald Trump even threatened possible retaliation if India failed to ship medical resources to the US. This may have surprised New Delhi.We should mainly focus on the attitude of the Indian government. The Modi administration has taken the epidemic seriously. It has not groundlessly attacked China like some US high-rank officials have. It's normal for some ordinary people in India to be influenced by US rhetoric and start blathering nonsense about China.The Indian government has not openly chosen sides between China and the US. Nor has it officially asked China to pay compensation for the COVID-19 or apologize to the international community. The US made these moves because of its domestic politics, such as the upcoming 2020 presidential election. While Washington knows it is useless to blame Beijing, it needs an excuse for shirking its responsibility. Unlike the US, India has no political reason to besmirch China. If India's epidemic situation becomes stressful, it will urgently need more of China's help. India's status is different from that of the US, so it will not blindly follow the US.This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of China-India diplomatic relations. The two countries had planned 70 celebratory activities, but many have been postponed or even canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. China-bashing voices in India are not coming from the mainstream voices, and the Indian government has not shown such sentiments. Some Indian people are only hyping themselves, and their voices will not impact India's diplomatic policies. However, once the badmouthing spreads to China, India's national image will be affected among Chinese people. We hope that New Delhi will clarify when such confusing words emerged and do not let the negative sentiment hinder China-India people-to-people exchanges in the future.The author is an adjunct senior fellow of the Academy of Regional and Global Governance, Beijing Foreign Studies University.
The views don't necessarily represent those of ARGG,BFSU.
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