As the India-China military standoff on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan enters its third month, China’s official Xinhua news agency has released a video that mocks and parodies Indians in what is the latest attack against India by the Chinese state media.
The video, which is in English and is a little more than three minutes long, is titled the “7 Sins of India: It’s time for India to confess its seven sins”.
It features a Chinese woman anchor who explains the Doklam standoff from the Chinese perspective and a man with a turban and a fake beard—an apparent attempt at parodying an Indian Sikh and mimicking the way Indians are perceived to speak English.
According to the clip, India’s seven “biblical” sins are: trespassing, violating a bilateral convention, trampling international law, confusing right and wrong, putting the blame on the victim, hijacking a small neighbour and sticking to a mistake knowingly.
“China has realised it is impossible to awaken a guy who is pretending to be asleep,” the Chinese anchor hosting the video says.
This is followed by the first appearance of the “Indian turbaned Sikh” who says, “Nobody is blaming me because I am asleep”—an allusion perhaps to the Chinese perception that in reality, India is being blamed for the standoff but refuses to acknowledge it.
India’s position that it is the Chinese side which trespassed into Bhutan is mocked by the anchor, who accuses India of entering “undisputed Chinese territory” with bulldozers.
The anchor then questions the alleged move by Indian troops of driving bulldozers into a neighbour’s (China’s) “house” without knocking. “What kind of neighbour would that be?” she asks. “Didn’t your mama tell you, never break the law?” she adds.
The Indian government’s contention that the Chinese entering Bhutanese territory with earthmoving equipment for the construction on a road close to India’s sensitive northeast had security implications for India is also ridiculed. “He is building a path in his garden. I am in danger,” says the “Indian” in the video shaking in apparent fear—in what seems to be Xinhua’s way of dismissing India’s concerns.
On India’s contention that it is protecting Bhutan’s territory, the Xinhua video features the “Indian Sikh” in the same frame as an alleged “Bhutanese” national.
“Don’t move, this is Bhutan’s home. I am here protecting it,” the “Indian” says, while the “Bhutanese” looks perplexed and shakes his head in denial when the anchor asks whether the territory India is stating to be Bhutanese is his home. “No not my home,” says the “Bhutanese” as the “Indian” is shown brandishing a pair of scissors, possibly as a threat to the “Bhutanese”.
When the anchor asks whether Bhutan had sought India’s help to protect Doklam, the “Bhutanese” national does not answer but looks decidedly wary as the “Indian” points the scissors at him in a seemingly threatening gesture. The implication is clear—that the “Bhutanese” national is keeping quiet under pressure from the “Indian”.
The military standoff at Doklam began on 16 June after Indian troops acted in coordination with Bhutanese authorities to block the construction of a road by Chinese authorities.
In the two months since then, Chinese state-controlled media has put out countless articles criticizing and dismissing India’s arguments. Many of them have also sought to remind India of the brief but bitter 1962 war between India and China that went badly for India.