CPC At 100: The Emergence Of A 'Professional Victim' In Geopolitics

CPC At 100: The Emergence Of A 'Professional Victim' In Geopolitics

by Harshil Mehta - Monday, July 5, 2021 12:55 PM IST
CPC At 100: The Emergence Of A 'Professional Victim' In GeopoliticsChinese President Xi Jinping at the 100th CPC.
  • China is using the victim card as a cover to peddle its sinister motivations in the new world order.

    But recent events in world history belie its claims of being a target.

Last week, the Communist Party of China (CPC) completed 100 years since foundation, as a result of which the country saw jumbo state-sponsored celebrations. During the occasion, President Xi Jinping spoke, and one point particularly stood out: that of China being the 'victim'.

During his address, as per the official translation, Jinping said, "We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us."

The statement is ironical and smacks of hypocrisy. Because, the Peoples Republic of China, under the one-party rule of the CPC, is an aggressor and bully in itself. It has shown its bullying behaviour with the Philippines, Canada, Australia, apart from a dozen other countries, including India. The CPC particularly failed to stop racist attacks against Africans living in China. And, China’s subjugation of its native ethnicities like Uyghurs, Tibetans, and even Hakkas are well-known to the world.

But still, Jinping, on this important occasion, chose to play a victim card —which is not an exception, but a trend itself — and examples from recent history are more than plenty to prove the point.

For example, the Galwan clashes. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, on 16 June 2020, two days after the clashes in which India faced 20-odd casualties, said that he was 'unaware' of the clashes. But just four days after this statement, he suddenly made a bizarre claim that the Indian troops ‘unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in the Galwan Valley’, in addition to another ludicrous claim that ‘India has gone even further to cross the LAC and make provocations.’

Eight months since the clashes, the Chinese media finally accepted the casualties on their side, but again blamed India for intrusion and ‘exaggerating’ its figures. It was China which had built structures in the valley which were visible through satellite images, but still chose to play victim.

Adding insult to injury was a global monster called Covid-19. Instead of taking accountability for the crisis, which has done damage to all countries in the globe, China blamed the US Army in March 2020 for the fiasco. It said that it was a 'victim' of the coronavirus outbreak because the US Army members spread the virus when they were in China. Not only this, it didn’t even let go of a chance to blame India for the origins of the pandemic.

While there were some instances where ethnic Chinese faced the wrath of the people and were at the receiving-end of the violence, China, under the CPC, used such instances to play the victim card and shrug off accountability for the pandemic.

Then comes the issue of Doklam. The Chinese PLA started constructing roads in disputed territory by challenging the status-quo and putting the ‘chicken's neck’ — a narrowing of Indian territory in the Northeast which is key to accessing the region, at risk of intrusion. This was an act of aggression by China, and India chose to rightfully respond to it.

But what did the state-sponsored Chinese media portray? The total opposite.

Xinhua News released a video, titled ‘seven sins’, which blamed India for the stand-off and painted it as the aggressor.

Global Times, which is infamously known for parroting the CPC's line, wrote that: "Recently, India's attitude towards China has changed a lot. India has become aggressive and bellicose", and added an "imaginary reason" for the standoff — that India harbours ill feelings because of China's development."

These instances are just the recent examples, excluding historical examples like The Century of Humiliation and The Tiananmen Square, but they are enough to establish a trend which is set by the CPC now.

By playing the victim card again and again, China is pushing a narrative riding the ‘Illusory Truth Effect’, which is ‘a tendency to believe something is true after being exposed to it multiple times.’ This was widely used by the most revisionist states in history. The Nazi Joseph Goebbels - the propaganda minister of Hitler - and the Soviet leader Stalin had excelled in this. With all these acts, China is pushing itself away from any type of accountability and responsibility.

The use of the victim card by China on such an important day tells that it is time for the world to become aware of the tactics employed.

Harshil Mehta is a columnist who writes on international relations, diplomacy, and national issues. He tweets @MehHarshil.
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