Hong Kong Based Asia Times Joins China's Fake News Industry

Hong Kong based Asia Times joins China’s Fake News Industry. Recently an article was published by Hong Kong Based Asia Times. Being based in Hong Kong, as expected the online news website posted an article that was filled with lies and hate against India and was written by a Nepali Communist Professor. Since Chinese Communist CCP has taken over Hong Kong, it is on expected lines that the media houses will post their propaganda material against US and its allies. This time they picked India as a target for their malicious propaganda.

Hong Kong based Asia Times posted the article titled Bangladesh’s snub another blow for India.

Hong Kong Based Asia Times Joins China's Fake News Industry
Hong Kong Based Asia Times Joins China’s Fake News Industry

If you want to read about how the Chinese paid propaganda works, the above article is a superb candidate.

The profile of the author, who is a known India baiter, reads thus.

“Bhim Bhurtel is visiting faculty for a master’s in international relations and diplomacy, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, and faculty for a master’s program of Development Economics, Nepal Open University. He was the executive director of the Nepal South Asia Center (2009-14), a Kathmandu-based South Asian development think-tank. Bhurtel can be reached at…”

Now, coming to the actual article. Clearly spelling out the problem with what ails India, the author opens his article quoting a prominent Indian News Paper. Looking at the relevant bits from the article, one would see that there is not one word in support of India in the mentioned Indian News Paper. 

India’s ties with Bangladesh in the meantime was also hit by the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which aims to give amnesty to minority religious groups from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Dhaka has maintained that instances of religious bigotry has gone down in the country and that the NRC and the CAA are internal matters of India.

The issue, however, has created a wave of concern in Dhaka, as prominent leaders of the ruling BJP spoke about “sending back” undocumented citizens to Bangladesh. In recent weeks, media in Dhaka has also been vocal about increased number of casualties along the India-Bangladesh border because of reported firings by the Border Security Force (BSF). Growing differences with India were viewed as opportunity for groups that are aligned with Pakistan and Chinese interests in Dhaka.

On one side, this talks of the depth of fifth column in India and on the other side, it talks of the extremely obnoxious levels of tolerance in India.

Another instance of the same comes from the Hong Kong based Asia Times article –

Speaking on a motion to thank the president of India for his speech at a joint session of the Indian Parliament, Viplove Thakur, a member from the Indian National Congress of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house, said that four Bangladeshi ministers had rejected New Delhi’s invitation to visit India on February 7, 2020, over the CAA row.

Although she didn’t mention the names of any of those Bangladeshi ministers or their portfolios, it seems clear that the BJP’s nationalist agenda has been diminishing India’s sphere of influence sharply in the neighborhood.

Hong Kong based Asia Times article is a harangue, no doubt and tries to project a dominating India’s presence towards it’s smaller neighbors with the words “Indian external-affairs mandarins consider themselves viceroys and their neighbors as Indian colonies”. It is surprising to note that such sort of language comes from a country whose 90% of foreign trade passes through India and 60% of it’s trade doesn’t cross India.

Let’s see how the author covers India’s bilateral terms with it’s neighbors.

Pakistan

Indo-Pakistani relations can be best described as belligerent since the Uri attacks on September 18, 2016. At that time, New Delhi accused Islamabad of involvement in exporting terrorism against India. There is no sign of normalizing their relationship soon.

Though the author is reluctant to pin the blame on Pakistan as a state sponsor of terror, there is nothing much he could have said in support of Pakistan.

Jammu and Kashmir

India on August 5, 2019, revoked Article 370 of its constitution that had granted Jammu and Kashmir special status. It issued a new political map of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, including Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s three districts, after designating the territory as administrated by the Indian federal government on November 2.

The fundamental question is, why is it an issue and to whom it’s an issue. Also, it’s important to note that India always claimed the territory which is held illegally by Pakistan in violation of UN Resolution 47 and the only change India did, which India feels is an internal issue and has a precedent in Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan Province – split of a single province into two.

Check our previous article Celebrations in Jammu & Kashmir, Protests in Pakistan as Article 370 Indian Constitution abrogated wherein we covered in details why Abrogation of Article 370 was necessary.

India-China Standoff

The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have been facing off in Ladakh since May 15 this year. Chinese strategists believe that India stabbed China in the back while the latter was temporarily vulnerable to allegations of mishandling the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is really hilarious an argument. One should explain how India can back-stab China on Indian side of LAC. Is the author implying that Chinese build up in Ladakh Theatre to the tune of 40,000 troops is in anticipation of the “India stabbing China in the back”? It would be educative for the author to have a look at the maps and the border flashpoints before giving out his opinions.

Check our previous article China’s Strategic Myopia – By Lt Gen PR Shankar (Retd), India

Related Article : Chinese Aggression at Indian Border Fails – Situation Still Tense

Nepal-India Border Issue

Hong Kong Based Asia Times Joins China's Fake News Industry
Hong Kong Based Asia Times Joins China’s Fake News Industry.

Nepal protested India’s issuance of the new political map, which also included Lipidhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani, territories claimed by Kathmandu. Nepal-India relations have been at a record low since May 15.

It is sad to note that a Nepali doesn’t know about the pacts Nepal signed with other countries. It is a known fact that according to the 1961 Boundary Treaty between China and Nepal clearly mentions that Nepal -India-China trijunction starts further east of Lipulekh Pass but west of Tinker Pass.

Besides, how exactly did Nepal realize that the road is built inside Nepali territory decades after India started constructing a road in the area.

Related Article : Nepal Surrenders Mt Everest to China And Disputes 40 KM Land With India

On the other hand, if Nepal gives much importance to the Treaty of Sugali ignoring Treaty of Thapathali with Tibet, it makes one wonder why Gorkha annexation of Khatmandu Valley shouldn’t be questioned. It is a known fact that Gorkha Armies under Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded the Khatmandu Valley and annexed the three Malla kingdoms – may be, that should also be undone?

On Nepal-India Issues:

Relations had normalized in early 2016, having deteriorated when India imposed an economic blockade against Nepal in September 2015 as Kathmandu refused to succumb to New Delhi’s pressure to declare the country a Hindu state in the new constitution that was promulgated that month.

Again, being a Nepali, it is surprising to see that a popular protest in Nepal against the loss of rights is being projected as the act of a foreign government. A contemporary reference of the event reads thus.

On 20 September 2015, the long-stalled Constitution of Nepal was passed with 90% approval from the representatives in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly (CA). 66 members of Nepal’s 598-strong Constituent Assembly, belonging to these groups, abstained from voting in protest.[9] By 20 September, more than 40 people including 8 police officers had been killed in clashes between the protesters and the police. Not all constitution passage related protests, deaths, nor bandh (strike) were ordered by or took place among Madhesis or in the Madhesh; there are various unresolved issues touched off by the passage of the constitution related to the multitude of races, political interests and castes in the diverse and least developed country. Nevertheless, the fuel crisis itself has direct relation to the Madhesh as it is the transit point for the vast majority of imports, two ethnic groups in the border region with India – Tharus and Madhesi people- have also been protesting against human rights violations, alleging that the new constitution marginalized them. There were also bandhs (strikes) declared in the Terai region, even before the constitutional passage, curtailing Terai business but otherwise not affecting the rest of the country.

One would want to understand if the author feels that Madhesis are not Nepalis or that they should stay as second-grade citizens in Nepal. A general law and order breakdown inside Nepal spilling even into India, one should explain how India imposed a blockade when the roads inside Nepal themselves are not safe for travel.

Recommended Article : Anti-Hindu Riots in New Delhi were Planned in Nepal.

Bangladesh

As for Bangladesh, it has refused Indian requests for talks several times since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration passed the Citizenship Amendment Act on December 11, 2019. The CAA allows granting of Indian citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered Indian territory before December 31, 2014.

Although the Indian government had praised the Bangladeshi government for taking measures to protect religious minorities, the CAA allows non-Muslim migrants who entered India before December 2014 from Bangladesh to apply for citizenship by claiming they had been persecuted. Hasina has been in power since January 2009.

One can understand that Bangladesh, being named as a culprit is angry. But, a person from a seemingly neutral viewpoint questioning India providing succour to those who are deemed to be persecuted can only mean that the author is supporting the genocide of the minorities of that country. One should question his stand on the same, immediately after there are multiple news coming over persecution – a Hindu temple under construction demolished in Pakistan, a Buddhist archaeological discovery shattered to pieces, a terrorist attack in Afghanistan and the flight of Sikhs into India – whether the author openly advocates genocide of persecuted races.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Anurag Srivastava tweeted that Momen had canceled his India trip because of his busy schedule coinciding with Martyred Intellectuals Day and Victory Day in Bangladesh, adding that the Bangladeshi state minister for foreign affairs, Shahriar Alam, and the foreign secretary were also out of the country.

However, it was widely believed that Momen and his cabinet colleague Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan canceled their India trip over their dissatisfaction with the situation developing out of BJP government’s passing of the controversial CAA.

That besides, the author’s insinuations are completely contradictory to the stand taken by the governments of both the country.

In fact, the author, by saying Bangladesh signed a duty-free agreement completely refutes his own stand that India is treating it’s neighbors as colonies. If Bangladesh is really a colony of India, why would India allow it’s colony to make a deal with the country with which India is having tense relations?

Amid New Delhi’s tense relationship with Beijing, Bangladesh and China signed a duty-free agreement on June 19. Under that pact, China provides duty-free access to 97% of Bangladeshi products.

Insinuations is fine, but outright lies? What can one say over the credibility and reputation of Asia Times and Bhim Bhurtel who write that Iran ejected India from Chabahar Railway even after Iran formally confirmed it’s a fake news?

Dhaka’s snub came after a similar move by Iran recently. Tehran has decided to implement the Chabahar Port Railway Project without India’s investment after the two countries had signed an agreement to undertake the project jointly.

And then, the author refuses to include Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Maldives which are also neighbors of India.

And then, the author closes his article with a  flourish inviting peals of laughter from all corners.

What happened in the past matters for the future to a person or a country because they can learn from past mistakes and avoid repeating them. But in India, the opposite is true. The BJP government is not learning from the past and is committing the same mistakes one after another.

The events after the BJP was re-elected for a second term in May 2019 have taken India nowhere on the global stage. India has not been able to maintain its vanguard position on the South Asian regional stage either. The BJP’s re-election looks like an albatross hung on India’s neck, not only in domestic affairs but also in foreign affairs, particularly in the neighborhood.

One can understand people fall for such juvenile conspiracies in countries with no access to information like China but it’s seriously beyond anybody’s comprehension that a person will take this article seriously when there is contrary information available everywhere.

Points to Ponder

Didn’t the whole world still had some hopes from the Hong Kong based companies? Hasn’t this article posted by the Hong Kong based Asia Times, proved that Hong Kong has fallen to Chinese Communist CCP and any media based in Hong Kong cannot be trusted as it will only run a Communist CCP Propaganda? Moreover Articles of Communist Nepali published by a News Media in a Communist Country’s Territory cannot expect anything other than being a mouth piece of Communist China.

A question is also raised for Hindus in Nepal. If such professors like Bhim Bhurtel are allowed to teach students at Universities, wouldn’t in a few years, whole future generation will be a breed of communists that will enable transition of Nepal as a Chinese colony in near future?

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