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Sichuan earthquake, 10 years on

Amid China-India row, Modi takes to Weibo with sympathy for Sichuan quake victims

The people of India are praying for China’s disaster victims, Indian PM says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 August, 2017, 11:31am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 August, 2017, 8:35pm

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent his condolences via Chinese social media over the deadly magnitude 7 earthquake that struck a mountainous part of Sichuan province on Tuesday.

In a post on the popular Weibo platform, Modi said he was saddened by the devastation from the earthquake that hit Jiuzhaigou county in Sichuan province, killing at least 20 and injuring 431 people.

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Over 60,000 people have been evacuated from the area and disaster relief efforts are currently under way.

“The people of India are praying for the families of the victims, and for those who were injured to make a swift recovery,” Modi’s Thursday post read.

Tuesday’s earthquake took place in Sichuan, which has often been rocked by earthquakes, including the devastating Wenchuan tragedy that killed nearly 70,000 people in 2008.

Modi’s condolences were sent amid increasing tensions between China and India over a border dispute in the Doklam plateau, with the two sides in an “eyeball-to-eyeball” military stand-off since mid-June. The two countries have had long-standing disagreements over the borders, and China’s envoy to India described the current stand-off as one of the worst disputes in over 30 years.

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Despite Modi’s condolences, many Chinese Weibo users focused their responses on the border flare-up, commenting that he should withdraw his troops from “Chinese territory”.

Modi opened his Weibo account in May 2015, and has over 170,000 followers.

He previously took to the microblogging platform to wish Chinese Premier Li Keqiang a happy birthday, and express his condolences and prayers for the landslide in Sichuan’s Maoxin county that buried over 120 people.