China mocks India’s grim struggle to cope with its pandemic quandary

A social media account run by the official law enforcement agency of the Chinese Communist Party posted a message on Weibo, which is China's version of Twitter, on Saturday that mocked India's catastrophic COVID-19 outbreak. ‘Lighting a fire in China VS lighting a fire in India,’ the post read.

(, May03’21) – China has mocked India for being bogged down by the coronavirus pandemic which had driven it to burn bodies in incessant numbers while it was itself busy firing away in its exploration of the outer space. However, its online posting which ridiculed India prompted public outrage, driving it to withdraw its posting and express support for India’s fight against the virus whose outbreak had started in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Photos of the China’s Tianhe space station module launch and its fuel burn-off were compared with that of a mass outdoor cremation in India, and was captioned “China lighting a fire versus India lighting a fire.”

The post on May 1 by the Communist Party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission on its official Sina Weibo account was accompanied by a hashtag noting that new Covid-19 cases in India had surpassed 400,000 a day.

However, the post could no longer be found later that day, reported Bloomberg News May 2. It said many Chinese social media users expressed shock and anger at the insensitivity of the post made by the Communist Party of China body.

Instead, China’s foreign ministry has said in response to a request for comment, “We hope everyone gives attention to the Chinese government and mainstream public opinion supporting India’s fight against the epidemic.”

Official social media accounts should “hold high the banner of humanitarianism at this time, show sympathy for India, and firmly place Chinese society on a moral high ground,” Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Communist Party-run Global Times newspaper, wrote on Weibo, commenting on the deleted post. Hu has said such methods were not an appropriate way for official social media accounts to gain traffic.

“I don’t think we can expect a clarification from the Party account in question, but I do think there was no consensus on this post or else it would not have been removed so quickly,” Manya Koetse, the editor-in-chief of What’s On Weibo, a site that tracks trends on the social media platform, has said.

Another deleted post that first appeared Apr 30 compared China’s “fire god mountain” – the name of the emergency hospital complex built in Wuhan – with a photo of a mass cremation in India on the official Weibo account of China’s Ministry of Public Security. It too was criticized, with social media users saying it was “morally problematic,” the report said.


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