China targets Indian diaspora in mainland after ban on Chinese apps

New Delhi Edited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Aug 12, 2020, 10:28 PM IST

Representative Image  Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

This is not the first time that China has dragged foreign citizens into its quarrels with other countries.

China is trying to emotionally blackmail India after all its propaganda, threats and fake news failed. China is now using Indian expats living in China as pawns.

A video released by China's mouthpiece The Global Times says  "...Will you divorce me if the India-China relationship becomes more complicated?....Shree asked her Chinese husband as a joke...''

Who's shree? An indian woman married to a Chinese man. Why is she worrying about a divorce?. Partly because of the growing tensions between India and China but mostly because india has banned Chinese apps. A ban which according to the Global Times has turned Shree's life upside down.

This may just be a new low in China's information warfare. The Global Times has truly outdone itself this time. It has used a private matter to push state propaganda.

An indian face to tell China's story. There are people like Shree on both sides of the border. People who are suffering due to China's aggression. People who have suffered for a long time due to China's censorship. Also, the message China is trying to send through this video is not of peace. Its a message of how vulnerable the indian diaspora in China could be --- if tensions still persist.

This is not the first time that China has dragged foreign citizens into its quarrels with other countries. Not too long ago, it was the Canadian diaspora in China which was on target.

In December 2018, the Canadian government arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei technologies executive on charges of fraud. She was detained upon her arrival in Vancouver. In retaliation, China arrested two Canadians -- Michael Covrig and Micheal Apavor -- on unproven charges of espionage.

The two men continue to be in a Chinese prison and China is now putting the same playbook to use in its fight with India. Now, China is dragging the Indian diaspora to send a message to New Delhi. So far, it hasn't targeted or arrested Indians living in China but the precedents the Chinese regime has set makes us all worry.

India's ban on Chinese apps is hurting Beijing's economic interests and Chinese state media is now dragging Indian citizens into its narrative which only reveals China's frustration.