Chinese government mouthpiece People’s Daily urges Russia not to sell arms to India

Chinese government mouthpiece People’s Daily attempted to push Beijing’s agenda in Moscow’s strategic circuit ahead of major developments on Tuesday such as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Moscow and EAM Dr S Jaishankar’s participation in the Russia-India-China trilateral virtual meet.

The newspaper took to a Facebook group called ‘Society for Oriental Studies of Russia’ to write, “As experts say, if Russia wants to soften the hearts of the Chinese and Indians, it is better not to deliver arms to India in such a sensitive moment. Two Asian powers are Russia’s very close strategic partners.”

This message comes at a time when India is looking to strengthen its military capability through acquisitions from Russia under emergency purchases for which the Centre recently earmarked Rs 500 crore.

In its Facebook post, People’s Daily said, “India wants to urgently buy 30 fighter jets according to the newspaper, in the background of an ongoing conflict between China and India in Ladakh, including MiG29 and 12 Sukhoi 30MK.”

Even as India and China are making repeated attempts to de-escalate the standoff in eastern Ladakh, Beijing seems rattled with the defence cooperation between Delhi and Moscow.

The post also admits that there was an exchange of soldiers between India and China following the violent face-off in Galwan Valley on the night of June 15.

“According to Kommersant newspaper, India and China are taking urgent steps on de-escalation on the line of actual control in Ladakh. As the first step toward rapprochement, both sides exchanged soldiers detained after the border incident, the largest one over the last 50 years”, the Facebook post by People’s Daily added.

It goes further to claim, “Despite the fact that the situation on the border remains tense, Delhi and Beijing refrain from new sharp steps and harsh rhetoric towards each on the eve of Russian, Indian, Chinese foreign ministers’ video-conference on June 23”.

Interestingly, the message was posted on Monday, the same day when the United States designated four more Chinese news organisations as “foreign missions” since they had become Chinese government mouthpiece and propaganda outlets. These include People’s Daily, China Central Television, China News Service, and Global Times, a tabloid published by People’s Daily.

“In designating these outlets as foreign missions, we are formally recognising the China party state’s effective control over so-called media entities, including those that operate here in the United States,” David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told reporters.

“While the Chinese Communist Party has always tightly controlled China’s state news agencies, its control has actually tightened in recent years,” Stilwell said adding, “These four entities are not media but propaganda outlets.”

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