The setting is a typical Indian middle-class home. A student is sheepishly showing his report card to his father. On being asked how come he failed in the test after scoring just 2 marks, the student replies that he still managed to score 1 mark more than their neighbour’s son. Now, this is the kind of story that we have heard many times. But in a way, it is connected to China and to be more precise, its giant and ever-growing propaganda machine.
Global Times is the Communist Party of China’s mouthpiece when it comes to news, op-eds and much more. The website instead of highlighting what’s happening in China, revels in highlighting what is wrong with the rest of the world. Much like the student I mentioned earlier, the news source doesn’t believe in talking about anything in its own backyard, but it has words of advice for anything and everything outside the Chinese borders.
The so-called experts on the website find it obligatory to parrot the party line and push narratives that are delusional at best. Any piece of criticism from any part of the world is met with hyper animosity that goes on to describe in clear terms as to how the country in question has to listen to China or suffer consequences.
Analysis minus the self-analysis
A few days ago, the website published an analysis about how India will never be able to successfully boycott Chinese products, because Chinese goods are way too cost-efficient. There is another expert opinion piece about how India will never attain the kind of success that China has achieved, because India is too diverse and its workforce enjoys a lot more in terms of labour rights. This was followed up by another article, very much on the same lines about how Australia cannot afford a Cold War with China. It goes on to advise Australia, in not so polite terms, that it shouldn’t follow the footsteps of the US in banning Chinese telecom companies.
It is becoming clearer by the day that China now feels the need to lecture every country in the world about how they should be running the show back home. What’s even more alarming is the tone that is being used to peddle such pseudo-intellectual muck. “We advise Canberra not to be so reckless as to closely follow Washington, or to do whatever American politicians ask it to do.” Believe it or not, this is a direct quote from the article i mentioned earlier.
Other than the near pedestrian language that is being used here, one has to admire the ironic audacity with which an authoritarian regime is lecturing a large and much advanced democracy. The same threatening tone of voice is a common thread that connects almost all pieces of ‘journalism’ on the website. It reflects a general emboldening of the Chinese government that doesn’t believe in answering its own people and is showing its true blue authoritarian tendency to out-shout or silence any criticism.
What we need to do
The world as a whole and India in particular needs to take heed of China’s growing aggressiveness. It is a clear sign that China is failing on all fronts as a responsible global superpower. Its one-sided foreign policy and its excesses are becoming a cause of concern for almost all Asian countries.
As Indians, let’s not forget how China’s inward looking policies have prevented foreign companies from growing on its soil, while it has happily continued to dump its cheap products in India and elsewhere. From now on, let’s make it a matter of personal pride to stop using Chinese products. No country has the right to dictate what we should or should not buy. Let the message be very clear that India is on the path of self reliance and no propaganda machine can come in its way.