— Consider reading the article “Delete the video or there will be negative consequences,” Chinese embassy threatens India based strategic affairs portal over a critical video on Xi Jinping on OpIndia website —
Days after a news portal named ‘Strat News Global’ drew parallels between Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the Chinese Embassy to India had sought to intimidate the news Editor of the portal, Nitin A Gokhale.
On August 1, the Strat News Global published a video on Youtube wherein they pointed out the uncanny resemblance in the dealings and expansionist policies of both the leaders. The video highlighted how both Hitler and Xi rose to prominence with the promise of rejuvenating the ‘lost glory of their respective countries’, economic revivalism, the militarisation of foreign and illegally annexed territories, elimination of political opponents and critics, institutional control, press censorship, armed proliferation, expansionism, breach of treaties and so on.
Chinese Embassy intimidates Strat News Global with dire ‘consequences’
The Chinese authorities were irked with the portrayal of Xi Jinping in a ‘negative light’. On Monday, Ji Rong, the spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in India, launched a tirade against Nitin Gokhale during a phone conversation. “We are shocked. Please delete the video immediately… This is a sensitive matter concerning our leader (Xi Jinping) and you must not spoil relationships… Your credibility is at stake,” she insisted.
However, the Editor of Strat News Global refused to budge. He turned down the recommendation of the Chinese spokesperson to delete the said video. Nitin Gokhale, who is also a well-known defence analyst, however, offered to provide a space to the Chinese authorities to refute the claims made by the news portal in the video comparing the Communist leader Xi with the erstwhile Nazi leader Hitler. According to him, Ji Rong declined his offer and instead claimed that the video is beyond the ‘acceptance’ of the Chinese regime.
“Delete the video or there will be negative consequences,” the Chinese spokesperson warned. When Nitin asked her about the ‘consequences’, she toned down her aggression and reiterated that the video is not acceptable and pestered him to delete the video. She then informed the Editor of Strat News Global that she would discuss the issue with the higher authorities. When Ji Rong did not get back to him, he contacted his colleague to inquire about any incoming letter from the Chinese authorities.
According to Nitin, the Chinese spokesperson forwarded him a Whatsapp message that cautioned of ‘serious consequences’ and demanded the ‘deletion’ of the video. As emphasised by him earlier, Nitin said that deleting the video was not an option and that the offer for a counter-argument to be published on the website was available. “I had to break the cardinal rule of revealing the negative conversation (between me and Ji Rong)… This needs to be highlighted to the world how aggressive and brazen Chinese behaviour have been globally and in India, especially in light of the current border standoff,” Nitin highlighted.
Chinese Embassy ‘unhappy’ with German Tabloid
Earlier, Germany’s largest Tabloid ‘Bild’ had put together a bill of £130 billion to be paid by China to Germany for economic damages caused due to the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus. Bild created an itemised invoice that included Germany’s lost tourism revenue (€ 27 billion), loss to small businesses (€ 50 billion), loss to the German film industry (€ 7.2 billion), and loss to Lufthansa airlines (€ 1 million/hour). The total bill to be paid by China thus amounted to a total of € 149 billion (£130 billion).
The newspaper further stated that China owed £1,550 per person in Germany, assuming that there would be a shortfall of 4.2% in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the pandemic. China accused the German Tabloid of stirring up “xenophobia and nationalism.” Julian Reichelt, the Editor-in-Chief of Bild, alleged that the Chinese Embassy in Berlin had written him an open letter as they were unhappy about their Coronavirus coverage.
Julian rebuked, “Your embassy tells me that I am not living up to the traditional friendship of our peoples. I suppose you consider it a great friendship when you now generously send masks around the world. This isn’t friendship, I would call it imperialism that is hidden behind a smile – a Trojan Horse.”