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Sino-India relations

Chinese state news agency slammed over ‘racist’ India border row video

New Delhi-based newspaper says Xinhua mocks Indians in clip featuring man in fake turban and beard

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 3:39pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 9:04pm

A Chinese state media video parodying Indians over a border dispute in the Himalayas has been labelled by a leading Indian newspaper as having “racist overtones”.

The 3½-minute English-language video “The Spark: 7 Sins of India” was posted on Xinhua’s official YouTube channel on Wednesday, listing India’s “seven sins” in the Doklam border dispute.

The clip is hosted by a woman anchor and features a man who appears to be Chinese in a fake turban and beard and using a mock Indian accent to describe of India’s “wrongdoings” in the border row with China.

Indian media was quick to lash out at the video, accusing it of racism and mocking Indians.

“The video particularly targets the Sikh minority,” the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday night.

China and India have been at loggerheads for more than two months over road-building on the Doklam plateau, a contested area of the Himalayas where Bhutan, India and China meet.

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The stand-off started in June when China tried to extend a road in the area and India responded by sending in bulldozers.

In the video, India is accused of the “seven sins” of trespassing Chinese territory, violating bilateral conventions, trampling on international law, not knowing right from wrong, putting the blame on China, hijacking its “small neighbour” Bhutan and sticking to its mistakes.

“You may think Doklam is a disputed area, but the truth is both India and the international community have recognised the place as a part of China according to the 1890 convention between Great Britain and China relating to Sikkim and Tibet which was under the protection of international law ... Didn’t your mama tell you never to break the law?” the anchor says.

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The anchor goes on to describe India’s “outrageous hijacking of its small neighbour” Bhutan.

A scene follows in which the turbaned man acts the part of India offering its protection to Bhutan, played by another man, who insists that “[Doklam] is not my home”.

“The Bhutanese authorities have clearly told Chinese officials that Doklam is not their territory and they are also confused by India’s behaviour,” the anchor says.

Commenters on YouTube, which is blocked in mainland China, were quick to slam the video.

One viewer, Habir Kalra, described it as “shameful and disgusting”.

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Another, Rohitnig81, said: “The crass racism displayed in this video reflects the cheap mentality of Chinese people ... There may be differences and disputes, but falling down to such [a] cheap level deserves the strongest of contempt.”

Internet user Senthilraja anG said the video’s message would work only for a Chinese audience because it presented the dispute from only Beijing’s perspective.

“This video is mainly and only for the Chinese people who do not know what the real world looks like, due to the censored social media and government-controlled media.”