Indian media rumormongering risks sparking conflicts, damaging ties

By Li Qingqing Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/6 22:33:40

Photo: GT

Since Friday afternoon, fake news reports have been circulating which claim that Taiwan shot down a Su-35 fighter jet of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Facing this false claim, Taiwan's "Defense Ministry" hurriedly issued a statement refuting the claims. The report was first published by Indian media outlet called "News Line IFE" on Twitter. Then some other Indian media, including ABP News and Times Now, quickly joined in to spread fake news. News Line IFE deleted the tweet after it was pointed out to be fake, but it has not made any further clarification as of press time.

The Indian media made groundless speculations and published fake news based on a video circulating on social media, which has caused a negative impact and even risked triggering misjudgments on the situation across the Taiwan Straits. The incident has fully reflected Indian media's rumormongering tendency and their wish for a tumultuous cross-Straits situation. 

Some Indian media and reporters have repeatedly spread malicious rumors targeting China. In February, an Indian reporter claimed that people in Wuhan were shouting for help after being locked in their homes. But in the video he posted on Twitter, Wuhan people were actually chanting slogans to encourage each other. Indian media also fabricated information about PLA casualties after the China-India border clash in June. Such ridiculous, unprofessional reports aim at smearing China, regardless of facts and logic and bringing shame to Indian media themselves.

Against the backdrop of the China-India border clash, Indian media may want more than ever to stir trouble against China. Thus, they spread rumors to drive a wedge between the mainland and Taiwan, hoping to entangle cross-Straits situation in a mess. 

However, Taiwan's "Defense Ministry" strongly condemned "this malicious act" in both the Chinese and English statements. The Taiwan military is well aware of the consequences of misjudgment which could easily be caused by untrue information. The situation across the Taiwan Straits is highly tense, and there is a high possibility of unwanted military conflicts being sparked in the region. The Taiwan authorities urgently refuted the Indian media's rumors, which shows that the island cannot bear the consequences of such provocation. Democratic Progressive Party authorities must be vigilant against this.

Both China and India are populous countries. Facing the different situation of China and India's COVID-19 fight, and the two countries' gap in economic, technological and other achievements, India has a mixed and complicated mentality. However, the unrestricted smearing and spreading rumors against China will only damage the credibility of the Indian media. Media outlets of a major country should have a vision of the big picture. But some Indian media obviously do not have it. They serve nothing but their narrow economic or political interests. To catch people's eyes, they have ignored social interests and basic professional standards.

Indian media have played a significant role in the deterioration of China-India relations, as well as New Delhi's worsening relations with other neighbors. Indian media must be reined in if the country truly wants to improve relations with its neighboring countries. 

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