Doklam border dispute: 'Racist' Chinese video angers India amid already heightened border tensions

Clip represents a 'fall from grace for China' say outraged Twitter users

Jon Sharman
Thursday 17 August 2017 20:21 BST
The 'racist' video features an actor with a fake beard and exaggerated accent
The 'racist' video features an actor with a fake beard and exaggerated accent (Xinhua)

China's state news agency has been branded "racist" after publishing a video that criticises India over the Doklam border dispute.

The English-language video released by Xinhua accuses the Indian military of illegally entering Chinese territory, describing this as one of the "7 Sins Of India".

Coming amid heightened tensions over the situation on the border near Bhutan, the footage includes a man dressed up as a Sikh soldier with a false beard, speaking in an exaggerated Indian accent as canned laughter is piped in. One Indian newspaper has described the video as having "racist overtones".

The border dispute began in June when India sent troops to stop China building a road in the Doklam area, which is remote, uninhabited territory claimed by both China and India's ally Bhutan.

China has repeatedly asked India to withdraw from the area or else face the prospect of an escalation, and in recent days its state media have carried reminders of the bloody but brief Sino-Indian War of 1962, which ended with China making decisive territorial gains.

According to Xinhua, India's "sins" include "hijacking a small neighbour" and "sticking to a mistake knowingly".

Social media users called the clip a "fall from grace for China" and said it showed the Chinese government "making a mockery of themselves".

However, some commentators appeared less concerns by the post, which features sketchy production values.

"This is China's official sense of humour!" tweeted Indian defence pundit Ajai Shukla. "Xinhua isn't quite sure whether it's producing a spoof ... or a propaganda piece."

The Hindustan Times said the three-minute Xinhua video had "racist overtones" and "mocked and parodied Indians".

The video appears to be an attempt to use humour to win over foreign audiences.It has been posted on Twitter and YouTube, both of which the ruling Communist Party tries to block Chinese internet users from seeing.

It accuses Indian forces of trespassing and breaking international law. "Didn't your mama tell you, never break the law?" says the host, identified as Dier Wang.

Additional reporting by agencies

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