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Not so free media: How Deutsche Welle kowtowed to Chinese narrative

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The Chinese influence in Europe is not a new tale. While the security agencies across Europe are concerned with Chinese influence in business, politics, and academia. Germany has a lot to gamble when it comes to free-press and free-trade and it is not a surprising move to choose the latter. Chinese influence in European media is contrastingly influential. Deutsche Welle (DW) is one of the networks recently used to further Chinese propaganda.

DW published three articles in the past three days to report the Indo-China border incident killing 20 Indian soldiers and 43 Chinese soldiers. All the reports were outrageously one-sided, with one of the articles misleading all the way titled “China urges India to ‘punish’ border clash instigators” creating a notion that the incident was an Indian provocation and not the other way round. Another article goes on to accuse Indian infrastructure built well within the rights and borders to be the tipping point of the incident failing to mention China’s aggressive buildup of roads to connect China occupied Aksai Chin and Xinjiang, one of the worst places on earth to be a Muslim. 

The Chinese fabrications is only further validated by “mis”using Indian journalists and familiar faces of Indian opposition. In addition, the articles were presented poorly fact-checked information scraped from here and there and balled up to prepare an indigestible “Knödel”.

Glaringly three parts of these articles should make Indians and Indian community in Germany concerned,

1. Using “Opposition Leader” Rahul Gandhi: 

Failing to get their facts right, Deutsche Welle passed a one-liner by calling Rahul Gandhi as congress leader of the opposition. Rahul Gandhi resigned from the party position and the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha opposition leaders’ names nowhere to be seen in the article. Coming back to reporting style, DW used one tweet of Rahul Gandhi to conclude the mood of a nation of 1.3 Billion people. This is not the first time Gandhi’s tweet has been used by western media to misquote matters of Indian polity. 

2. Indian Journalist reports

DW Indian correspondent, Nimisha Jaiswal, was quoted meagrely in one of the articles in which she reports a drive in India recently to “hurt China economically.” Setting the tone for China being the actual victim, Nimisha fails to report the driving force behind the economic boycott of Chinese goods. While the EU imposes sanctions to further its western influence on developing nations, it is a mortal sin for India to do the same to protect National interests.

Jaiswal continues the charade by bluntly equating national security measures against Pakistan to warmongering and jingoism failing to mention continuous terror attacks unleashed by the terror-infested neighbor for the past seven decades. This shoddy reporting by DW is the aforementioned “drive in” to critically evaluate the freedom of the press in Germany.

3. Comparing Indian & Chinese Media by Hao Gui: 

It was a whole other ball game when a reporter of Chinese origin assessed the incident. Hao Gui with a German Journalist compared the media reaction of India not crediting the freedom of the press in India. While Chinese media kept surprisingly quiet on the first deadliest attack between the two nations, the News agencies in India extensively covered the entire incident. But, DW chose Gui & Hans Spross to nitpick the diverse press in India and unsubtly propagated the theory that Indian media to be aggressive. Hao further quotes couples of Chinese articles to showcase that Chinese media showed remarkable restraint knowing leash of Chinese News agencies is in the hands of Communist Party. Gui ends the article by crediting the Chinese approach of covering up the casualties. Although, this is not the first time China has covered up casualties. The Chinese involvement and casualties in the Vietnam war were made public after several decades.

This is not surprising as it appears. While Hao Gui considers Germany his home elsewhere on the internet, his predispositions are obvious. Gui covered several articles on Kashmir, Rohingya Muslims, among other issues. We could no longer see his work on Uighur Muslim concentration camps nor the expansionist policies of China in the South-china sea. 

On the one hand, we have an Indian journalist with a massive inferiority complex despite representing a fully functioning democracy. On the other hand, authoritarian regimes have a free hand in influencing conversations and pushing narratives on a network funded by a democratic state and we wonder why people no longer trust too-big-to-fail media organizations.

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