Indian think tank report fabricates unwarranted charges to discredit China
Published: Sep 05, 2021 10:03 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

As India has reportedly launched an information war against China and Pakistan, some Indian think tank has proactively fired false countercharges.

The think tank Law and Society Alliance launched its report on Friday, entitled "Mapping Chinese Footprints and Influence Operations in India." The 76-page study report enumerates "the covert and overt influence operations" carried out by China in cultivating, funding, and sponsoring Indian institutions including the media and individual opinion-makers. Indian strategic affairs experts who were speaking at an online discussion following the release of the report accused China of buying support for itself "among the academia, think-tanks, media, trade bodies, tech companies, filmdom, and political parties in India to influence public opinion and destabilize the nation from within."

The so-called report is full of groundless accusations. China has never engaged in these activities in India. As most Indian mainstream media and organizations are controlled by consortia, it is difficult for China to exert influence over these media and organizations, let alone influencing public opinion.

It's actually India that has been fabricating facts to affect international public opinion. In December 2020, the Brussels-based nongovernmental organization EU Disinfo Lab, published a report titled Indian Chronicles, revealing that it had uncovered a Delhi-based Indian holding company Srivastava Group and its "15-year misinformation campaign," which aims to reinforce anti-Pakistan and anti-China sentiment in India. The report aroused the attention of the international community.

According to the EU Disinfo Lab's report, the media coverage of Indian chronicle operations has covered 116 countries and 9 regions, and the content produced was primarily targeted at Indian nationals with an extensive coverage of these barely known "media," MEPs and "NGOs" in Europe. This is enough to show that India's disinformation network is very mature and India is much too familiar with affecting public opinion. New Delhi is making groundless accusations against Beijing when itself is to blame.

The Law and Society Alliance may be included in this web of fake information. The think tank calls itself "an independent Indian national growth organization providing legal and knowledge intervention on issues that need study and research" on its official website. Some in the Indian government take advantage of or even direct these think tanks to fabricate these lies against China.

According to OpIndia, an Indian news website, an Indian scholar said that the report reminded him of "Uyghur history," a "similar one that played out in Tibet and is now playing out in Hong Kong, where the Chinese govt is overthrowing democracy." While interpreting the report, the Indian media outlet mentioned the cliché of Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong issues, reflecting India's ulterior motives.

It can be seen that the report from the Indian think tank and the Indian media's use discourse closely aligned with that of the US and the West. They are all fabricating unwarranted charges to discredit China, while not forgetting to bring up Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. In fact, India is not only actively cooperating with American and Western discourse, but also trying to inflame anti-China public opinion.

India's main purpose in catering to the West is to build its image as a so-called democracy by smearing China and Pakistan. India is trying to promote itself as a great power in the world and tarnish China's international image. India is now concentrating not only on politics but also on its economy, seeking to relocate parts of the global value chain to India. But India will not succeed in enhancing its national power through these gimmicks.

Facing India's information war against China, China must expose what India has done to the people of the world and call on the international community to fight against such acts of fabricating history, distorting facts and producing false information, which has become common government-backed actions in India. 

The author is secretary-general of the Research Center for China-South Asia Cooperation at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, a visiting fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, and a distinguished fellow of the Chinese (Kunming) Academy of South Asian and Southeast Asian studies. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn