High pressure in the Himalayas as China takes heat over racist video – China’s latest political and current affairs news


A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for August 17, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Following the stone-throwing scuffle yesterday between Chinese and Indian soldiers and the release of some truly terrible propaganda from China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, tensions between Asia’s two most populous countries are higher than in decades. Media commentary is warning that the two countries are close to outright military conflict — see this story in the Washington Post and another story in CNBC as examples. But bear in mind, this isn’t exactly news: The latest conflict started nearly three months ago, and on July 5, it was identified by the Chinese ambassador to India as the “worst in 30 years.”

So what’s new?

  • The Xinhua video — watch it here, though as we said yesterday, prepare to cringe — has sparked widespread outrage among overseas observers, the New York Times reports (paywall). Indian newspaper Hindustan Times also slammed the video as “racist,” noting that the “video particularly targets the Sikh minority” — not a great outcome for a message tailored to an overseas audience.
  • Chinese officials are noticing the controversy. State-funded outlet Sixth Tone published an article about the video receiving criticism, but that article was apparently pulled within hours of being released.
  • Reuters reports that India is making moves to “check China’s advance into sensitive sectors,” including its power transmission and telecommunications industries.