Chinese Web post causes ire in India

Source:Global Times Published: 2009-8-20 1:28:49

 By Liang Chen

While media around the world speculates on the origin of a controversial post on the Web calling for the collapse of India, some media contacted the Global Times with the aim of clarifying the identity of the author of the article.

Lü Wenji, the editor who transferred the article from its previous site, com, a forum for public opinion, told the Global Times that she and her colleagues worked hard to find the identity of the writer, but said, “it’s too difficult to verify the identity and credentials, due to the anonymity of the Internet.”

An article written by an Internet user named Zhanlue (which translates as ‘strategy’) on the website last week suggested that India’s sense of national unity was weak and “China can dismember the so-called ‘Indian Union’ with one small stroke!”

Beijing’s best choice is to support separatist forces, such as those in Assam, to split India into 20-30 parts, the comment said.

DS Rajan, the head of the Chennai Centre for Chinese Studies, who circulated an English translation of the article, wrote that “ represents the China International Institute for Strategic Studies (,” and the views were interpreted by the Indian media as meaning the two sites are linked.

“We transferred the post from its previous website, since the click rate of this article on that website was so high,” Lü said.

Kang Lingyi, editor in chief of, insists that he runs a separate research body and that there is “no relationship between the website and the China International Institute for Strategic Studies.”

Kang issued a statement last week saying the site does not represent any government body. Clarification by fax was also sent to the Indian embassy in Beijing.

“Apparently, Indian media has hyped the article to deliberately strain relations between the two countries,” Kang told the Global Times, adding that “the Indian scholar’s accusation that it is a study by a government-run think-tank is ridiculous and irresponsible. Indian media is misleading public opinion.”

Early in January 2006, the same netizen posted the same article on the Internet, headlined, “Starting with Bengal, pull India to pieces.” Many articles with similar content can be found online, Kang said.

Typing the keywords “China can dismember the so-called Indian Union with one small stroke” into popular search engine yesterday produced 1,500 search results related to the article.

Hu Shisheng, an expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said, “The article cannot have been written by any Chinese scholar, or any think-tank, not to mention the Chinese government. The argument of this article is too silly.”

Besides, splitting India would not benefit China, and no country in the world has the ability to split prosperous India, Hu added.

“But most Indian elite are hostile to China due to the hype of the ‘China threat theory’ in Indian media, even though senior officials of the two countries have quite a good relationship,” Hu said.  Hu also accused the Indian media of misleading the public and triggering the antipathy of India’s general public toward China.


“Netizens have the freedom to express their personal opinions. Indian media uses this article to hype the ‘China threat theory,’ which is a reflection of the Indian media’s attitude toward China,” said Fu Xiaoqiang, a researcher at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

The Indian media has long spread the so-called China threat theory. In an article entitled “Unmasking China,” Bharat Verma, a senior editor of the Indian Defense Review, said recently that China would launch an attack on India before 2012 to achieve multiple strategic objectives.

“We have no comment on this issue at this time,” an official at the spokesman’s office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Global Times yesterday.

A spokesman at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs downplayed the hype, saying, “The article in question appears to be an expression of an individual’s opinion and does not accord with the officially stated position of China on India-China relations conveyed to us on several occasions, including at the highest level, most recently by State Councilor Dai Bingguo during his visit to India last week.”

India and China have enjoyed a cooperative relationship, the spokesman said.

Obstacles to relations

The publication of the article coincided with talks between Beijing and New Delhi over disputed Himalayan border areas. Earlier this year, China held up funding for an Asian Development Bank project in Arunachal Pradesh, a state claimed by China as “south Tibet.” India has also banned some Chinese imports this year, as it tries to protect its economy from the global financial crisis.

Ma Zhaoxu, a spokesman of the Chinese delegation of China-India Boundary Talks, said in an interview with Chinese media that China believes the new round of talks held August 7-8 in New Delhi would play a positive role in pushing forward bilateral relations.

“Border disputes have long affected the relationship between China and India, but the major stance of China’s policy toward India is to develop peacefully, and China never expects any conflict with India,” Hu told the Global Times.

Zhang Han contributed to this story

Posted in: Diplomacy

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