Western media favors Delhi due to bias

By Zhang Jiadong Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/31 18:58:39

It has been more than a month since the Indian troops intruded into Chinese territory and ran into a confrontation with Chinese troops. The media of both countries have been engaged in a war of words. The Chinese media insists that the Indian troops illegally crossed the border and must withdraw unconditionally, while the Indian media asserts that the border area was claimed by Bhutan which asked India for help, and negotiations are needed if the Indian troops are to withdraw.

It is understandable that media of both China and India serve the interests of their own countries. What is worth pondering is the way Western media reported this China-India standoff.

These reports mainly cited India's rhetoric and what happened from the Indian media's point of view, depicting a mild India which called for a troop withdrawal and bilateral negotiations. China, however, was portrayed as taking an aggressive stance in the Western media.

India in the Western media is a victim which has been bullied by China, even though India illegally entered Chinese territory and violated international law to unilaterally intervene in the "territorial dispute" between China and Bhutan.

India has several advantages in the sphere of international opinion. India is in a weaker position compared with China, which can arouse sympathy. China has overwhelming dominance over India because China's GDP is five times that of India and its military expenditure is triple India's.

Under such circumstances, India dare not make the first move against China. If India took the initiative, the Western media reasons, it must be because China was too aggressive.

India has a Western-style political system and can gloss over its illegal acts under the banner of democracy. Since WWII, India has been one of the few countries that annexed a sovereign country. It has inherited colonial legacies and directly interfered with or even diplomatically and militarily controlled its tiny neighbors. The independence movement by India's ethnic groups and the rebellions of some religious sects were put down with cruel suppression. But Western media has ignored all this.

The Western-advocated principles of democracy and human rights are not what they are supposed to be when it comes to India.

Westerners believe India is a country of peace. Over thousands of years, India was invaded about 300 times. It gained independence through nonviolent resistance to the British Empire. The West believes India created a peaceful model of an anti-colonial movement. Therefore in the eyes of some Western scholars, India has been well-behaved and will not invade or bully other countries.

China and India have long been viewed by Western countries as representatives of different political systems. As early as the 1950s, then US president John F. Kennedy came to India's aid during the 1962 war in a bid to compete with the China model.

Currently, the Western political system has encountered a shock. The West is badly in need of a democratic model like India to revive the vitality of Western democracy.

Therefore in the Western media, China is aggressive and violates international law, while India is democratic without any problems.

It is nothing new that Western media glorify India while downplaying China. As for the recent incursion by the Indian troops, Western media have reported on the China-India standoff but turned a blind eye to the causes of the incident.

This method of reporting by the Western media has caused Western countries much bitterness. Too much emphasis on democracy in the media has fueled the launching of wars and conflicts by Western countries against others. This has made Western countries make many enemies in the international community and suffer economic losses.

If Western countries are to avoid such crises, they should start by establishing a truly objective and neutral reporting style.

The author is a professor with the Center for American Studies, Fudan University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn



Posted in: ASIAN REVIEW

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