Citizenship Act: China pats gag, India ‘Red’-faced

Citizenship Act: China pats gag, India ‘Red’-faced

Beijing endorsed the recent shutdown of Internet for containing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of India

India’s move to shut down Internet to contain protests against its new citizenship law has won endorsement from China.

Beijing, which often draws flak for flouting human rights to crush dissent, sought to make common cause with New Delhi, endorsing the recent shutdown of the Internet for containing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of India — particularly in the northeastern region and some districts of West Bengal.

An article published in China’s state-run People’s Daily newspaper endorsed the shutdown of Internet to control protests against the new law in India — calling it a “standard practice for sovereign countries” to deal with “a state of emergency”. It recalled that similar actions by the Chinese government to deal with a “similar national security threat” in Xinjiang region of China a few years ago had drawn “sharp criticism from mainstream media in Europe and United States”.

China has been drawing flak from the US and Europe for violating human rights in its Xinjiang Autonomous Region, where it has imprisoned over one million Uyghur Muslims in so-called “re-education camps” in the name of preventing radicalisation.

Columnist Qing Qiu noted that even India, which the US projected as an example of democracy in Asia, had not hesitated to shut down the Internet in its Assam and Meghalaya states, when it felt that it was necessary to do so to deal with “a significant threat to national security”.

“Since the 1950s, America has seen India as an example of democracy in Asia,” Qing wrote on the official newspaper of Communist Party of China. “In the so-called Indo-Pacific Strategy Report released by the US, India is viewed as an important geopolitical partner of the US, as the two countries share a common ideology and similar political system.”

“The Internet cannot be independent of national sovereignty,” he argued, adding: “It is a routine operation for governments all over the world to manage the Internet based on national interests, including shutting down the Internet in a state of emergency.”