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Propaganda war backfires, China’s fake news machines now talk Bollywood

Updated July 24, 2020 20:00 IST
Protestors burn the poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping (IANS)

“Today, China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else. If the free world doesn’t change Communist China, Communist China will change us. The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.”

Some really strong words coming from the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his speech made at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, last night.

The pressure is building on Chinese President Xi Jinping really fast now. Its much-hyped ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy has backfired terribly and relations with not just the United States but several nations, including India, hit an all-time low.

Beijing cannot blame anyone else; it has fallen victim to its own propaganda. The dragon is wounded by its own hyper-nationalistic and outrageous rhetoric belted out by state-run tabloids like the Global Times.

Indians have in particular read, and laughed at, a lot of inflammatory, incredulous, stuff published by the GT since the Galwan valley faceoff in Ladakh.

The Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece went overboard in its anti-India tirade, warned India that it will pay a heavy price if it ‘miscalculates China’ and instead lectured Indian netizens being easily inflamed by nationalism.

One doesn’t expect the totalitarian Chinese regime to apologize and admit to its mistakes soon. However, the dragon has been jolted strongly enough—militarily, economically and geopolitically—by the global powers. Faced with a massive economic crisis at home and a global backlash over Covid-19, the fake fury exhibited through expansionist moves has united China’s rivals all over the world.

Perhaps that explains why the hawkish Global Times is now suddenly talking Bollywood in the times of coronavirus pandemic. The pugnacious state tabloid, which was fanning the flames of tension till a few days ago, now wants to know when will the Bollywood films return to China.

It is also desperately anticipating if Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 would be the first Bollywood film to release in China after the coronavirus pandemic. Even its notorious editor-in-chief has now turned a Tagore and Bollywood fan overnight.

Clearly, the jingoistic, scandalous anti-India reporting has done no good to China. The irresponsible coverage has put the country in a dangerous clash against the rest of the world. The Chinese people are already paying heavily for Xi Jinping’s bully tactics. The ‘Boycott China’ chorus has not only grown stronger but changed to ‘teach China a lesson’ gradually.

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