Everywhere except China the report went like this: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cancelled a high-level summit with India after the country failed to shut down a speech by the Dalai Lama.
But in Chinese state media, the report went like this: “India Suddenly Cancels Sino-India Border Discussions,” according to People’s Daily, carrying a reprint of the Shandong Provincial Party Committee’s official paper. China Radio International, the Party’s broadcast mouthpiece, added to the headline that India “Plans to Strengthen Military Deployments.”
“The night before a summit on Sino-Indian boarder talks originally to be held today, India made an unusual move,” the official Shandong newspaper says, “unilaterally announcing withdrawal from talks, without giving any reason.”
The article adopts the cadences of Western journalism’s insider-reports: it says that despite “someone familiar with the situation” explaining that India claimed there were “scheduling difficulties,” the fact that they canceled two days before the meeting “seems to foretell the seriousness of the issue.”
The article says that both sides want to “deal with it in a low-key way.” China Radio International carried a lengthy analysis of the reasons behind the fictitious Indian cancellation, complete with speculation on India’s conspiratorial military intentions.
The reports have been widely circulated by China’s state media. But they fail to mention the Dalai Lama, or the fact that it was the Chinese side that actually called off the talks because of his schedule appearance.
The Dalai Lama was scheduled to speak at the Global Buddhist Conference 2011 on Nov. 30 in New Delhi, delivering a speech at the closing ceremony.
The Chinese regime implored India to prevent the Dalai Lama’s appearance, a request that the latter denied, according to widely circulated reports.
Unimpressed, the CCP then pulled the plug on its own conference with India, the 15th Sino-Indian border meeting. It was to be held from Nov. 28-29 in New Delhi.
Analysts have suggested that accusing India of cancelling the conference, and hyping those claims in the domestic media, is a standard tactic meant to incite nationalism and distract Chinese from the country’s domestic issues.