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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Did someone say that China is an ancient civilization?


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China claims to be an ancient civilization, so ancient in fact that they have forgotten what it is to be civilized

I begin with an anecdote

Many years ago in an African nation, all accredited diplomatic missions received a strange note verbale asking them not to harbour “illegal aliens”, as the concerned nation did have a problem with soaring unemployment

Most Missions blew up and responded with abuse, including – you guessed it – China and Pakistan

We preferred the diplomatic principle of “fin de non recevoir” or we consider that we did not receive it

Weeks later, the Foreign Minister of that country told me that he deeply appreciated India’s measured and polite response and said that they had circulated it to all their officials

In September 2021, the Chinese Ambassador to London was banned from the British Parliament (the mother of all Parliaments) since China had sanctioned some British MPs over their criticism of the violation of the rights of Uighurs

The letter to the Chinese Ambassador was from the Speaker of the House of Commons

Not used to dealing with criticism at home, the Chinese Embassy retorted in the only way it knows how to, with abuse and fury, calling it a “despicable and cowardly action of certain individuals of the UK Parliament to obstruct normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK for personal political gains (and) against the wishes and harmful to the interests of the peoples of both countries”

Surprisingly, China acknowledges that the British action might also harm the people of China

This is a climbdown since all previous warnings to other countries that have issues with China have been that the people of the other country would suffer (never the Chinese)

At the very least, it is a loss of face

A group of lawyers, academics and former diplomats without government backing recently heard allegations of genocide in Xinjiang by the Uighur Tribunal in London

A few days earlier, the Chinese Ambassador urged the British government to protect U.K.-China ties by banning the tribunal. Further restrictions or sanctions on China would come back to haunt the U.K. and the country’s national interests, he told a news conference

China uses its economic clout to silence critics and to carry out the most intense attack on the global system for enforcing human rights since that system began to emerge in the mid-20th century

Beijing was long focused on building a “Great Firewall” to prevent the people of China from being exposed to any criticism of the government from abroad

Now, it increasingly attacks the critics themselves, whether they represent a foreign government, are part of an overseas company or university, or join real or virtual avenues of public protest

In August 2020 when an Indian news portal compared Xi PingPong to Hitler, the Chinese Embassy called to threaten and intimidate it – and when told that India believes in freedom of press, the caller asked: “What is that”?

Instead of reading the writing on the wall, China’s deaf, dumb, and blind officials, unable to understand criticism, always hit back

A wise diplomat knows how to pick a fight with the right target at the right time. Good diplomacy is built on taking the moral high ground when possible

China’s diplomats try “wolf-warrior” diplomacy (blatant threats) to please their domestic masters, and manage to offend their hosts, further damaging China’s image. If it is a warrior approach, it cannot be diplomacy!

China mocked the G7 leaders at their June 2021 Cornwall Summit (India was a special invitee) in a cartoon promoted by the Global Times called The Last G7

 The cartoon was a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper and included nine animals, Australia as a kangaroo, the US a bald eagle, the UK a lion, Canada a beaver, France a rooster, India an elephant, Italy a wolf, Japan a shiba inu dog and Germany a black hawk

 Another satirical depiction, looking like a yellowing old photograph, was based on a real group photo that the G7 Foreign Ministers and the High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs took in London in May 2021

 It was meant to compare the meddling of the G7 in China’s internal affairs to the notorious invasion of China by the Eight-Nation Alliance troops in 1900

It depicted eight people wearing old-style military uniforms and black face masks standing in the middle, and a man dressed in Indian garb and wearing a white mask in the left corner, who is on a drip, like a patient, allowing viewers to associate it with the severe COVID-19 situation in India in April-May 2021

In May 2021, when we were reeling under the second wave of the Chinese virus, a social media post by China’s top law enforcement body juxtaposed the country’s successful launch of a module into space with grim cremation pyres in India

 Captioned “China lighting a fire versus India lighting a fire” the post by the Communist Party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission was accompanied by a hashtag noting that new Covid-19 cases in India had surpassed 400,000 a day

 This is schadenfreude at its most bestial

 No one in India has mocked the massive floods in China

 The Goebbels Times, sorry, Global Times, derided Germany over the massive mid-2021 floods, claiming smugly that an emergency response to the disaster was clearly not in place. If it happened in China, related officials would face a stern penalty, the rag reported

 When massive floods, the worst in memory hit China shortly thereafter, the paper was silent

 In mid-2019, a Pak-based Chinese diplomat tweeted that white people never go to Southwest Washington because it was an area for blacks and Latinos

The tweet provoked heated condemnation from the US political elite, including former national security adviser Susan Rice who called the fellow a “racist disgrace” and asked for his recall

The Chinese diplomat hit back with a series of tweets calling Rice a “disgrace” and “ignorant”, and questioning the US’s own record on human rights

It was a familiar kind of rhetoric, a standard Chinese strategy: abuse in self-defence

In October 2020, in a stinging rebuke to China, 39 countries (including most of the EU member states, as well as Canada, Haiti, Honduras, Australia and New Zealand) chastised China in the UN for its violation of the rights of the Uighurs and its repression in Hong Kong

 Its wolf-warrior Ambassador to the UN said the signatories spread false information and political virus, and interfered in China’s internal affairs

In early 2021, the European Union approved sanctions against four Chinese officials running internment camps for Uighurs in Xinjiang including travel bans and asset freezes

 Reacting like a wounded canine, China barked that the EU sanctions were “based on nothing but lies and disinformation”, and counter-sanctioned EU officials and entities in Europe “that severely harm China’s sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation”

 The Chinese countersanction’s infuriated the European Parliament that voted overwhelmingly to freeze the ratification of the EU-China Trade and Investment deal

European MEPs lambasted Beijing’s response, calling it “an attack against the European Union and its Parliament as a whole, the heart of European democracy and values, as well as an attack against freedom of research”

True to form, the Chinese government reacted to the European Parliament’s vote by calling on Brussels to “immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs (and) abandon its confrontational approach” and played its well-worn CD that the EU-China Agreement was a balanced and win-win deal that benefits both sides, rather than a ‘gift’ or favour bestowed by one side to the other

When China is criticized, she responds with the choicest abuse

Its former darling Australia became the “white trash of Asia” and “chewing gum stuck to the boot of China” for demanding an independent international investigation into the origins of the Wuhan virus

America, said China’s fatuous Foreign Minister in August 2020, had “lost its mind, morals and credibility”

The Chinese Ambassador to Sweden attacked the local media and public figures frequently because, as he put it, they “have a habit of criticising, accusing and smearing China”

 He was summoned to Sweden’s foreign ministry more than 40 times in the past two years and several parties called for his expulsion

In Brazil, when Brazilian congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, President Jair Bolsonaro’s son, blamed China for the pandemic, China’s Ambassador called it an “evil insult” and claimed that Bolsonaro had contracted “a mental virus” while visiting the US

 Another former bedmate, Canada, has been dubbed the “running dog of America” and its Prime Minister dismissed as “boy”

A BBC investigation published in February 2021 contained first-hand testimony of systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture of Uighur detainees

 One woman testified that women were removed from their cells “every night” and raped by one or more masked Chinese men. A former guard at one of the camps, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described torture and food deprivation

 China banned the BBC

Last year, the shameless Ping-Pong who has totally ruined China’s reputation, hailed his country’s Xinjiang policy as “a success,” adding that the region “is enjoying a favorable setting of social stability”

It is the stability of the graveyard

In 2017, during the Doklam standoff, after crudely threatening to strip the Indian army to its underwear, Chinese state media released a racist propaganda video that lambasted India

The English-language clip, accusing India of committing “sins”, featured a Chinese actor in a Sikh turban, speaking in a mock Indian accent

Last year, the state-owned China Television network pronounced the virus the “Waterloo for America’s leadership,” as a British-accented announcer intoned, over shots of the Capitol building and homeless people gathered in a parking lot: “An increasing number of observers are beginning to see that the health emergency is signaling the end of the American century … Washington is tumbling to rock bottom over its coronavirus response”

This is certainly not the language intended to win friends and influence people

 There does not seem to be a Mandarin version of Dale Carnegie’s 1936 classic: “How to win friends and influence people”

In August-September 2020, the Chinese Foreign Minister went to 5 European nations saying relations with Europe should not suffer because of Beijing’s intensifying standoff with USA, but his appearances tended to make more progress in ratcheting up tensions with the region

 In Norway, he suggested that the Nobel Peace Prize should not be given to Hong Kong protesters

 He got egg all over his face in Berlin when he cursed President of Czech Senate Milos Vystrcil’s visit to Taiwan (“you’ve crossed a red line”), claiming that it was an intervention in China’s internal affairs

 His German counterpart warned him against “threats” toward European allies, saying that EU offers our international partners respect, and we expect the exact same from them

 According to Pew Research, China’s reputation among developed nations is the lowest it has ever been

Xi was the second least trusted leader

Chinese playacting as global leader in pandemic times, disbursing local advice and highlighting the failure of others, has backfired elsewhere in Europe, too

An example was the backlash against an April 2020 message by the Chinese Embassy in Paris claiming abandonment of the elderly in French old age homes!

 Members of the French Senate demanded answers as to why an article they said was fake and cast them in a bad light was still up on the Chinese embassy website

 When the Chinese Ambassador was summoned by the Foreign Ministry, China tried to be over smart, and its spokesperson tweeted that China had never made a negative comment on French management of the epidemic

China’s disgraceful new breed of diplomats compete to be more radical and insulting to the country where they are posted

They behave as if they were trolls, or bots, and put outrageous texts on their own social media, which happen to be official websites

They are unaware of the distinction between private and official views, since in China there can be no private views

In June 2020, the EU took the unprecedented step of publicly rebuking China for trying to alter the narrative of how it handled the virus, unleashing a series of disinformation attacks on several European states, spreading laughable information (trying to make it sound authentic) about the origin of the virus and the ineffectiveness of democracies’ response

China’s justifiable pride in its economic development has metastasized into arrogance. Addressing his rubber stamp Parliament in 2018, Xi said that China was now able to offer “a new type of political system” to the world

Except that no one wants it?

May I recall the classical Greek phrase: Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat – Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad?

Someone please tell Xi PingPong that


Did someone say that China is an ancient civilization? -


Deepak Vohra

Ambassador Dr. Deepak Vohra, Made in India,
Special Advisor to Prime Minister, Lesotho, South Sudan and Guinea-Bissau,
Special Advisor to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils, Leh and Kargil, Gauri Sadan, 5 Hailey Road, New Delhi 110001.


I am not Indian because I live in India, I am Indian because India lives in me!

They said: Hide from the storm; I replied: I am the storm  


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