In addition, some Indian debates were fuelled by the significant presence of foreign scholars on Indian Twitter.
The Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS), commercially known as Remote Sensing Satellite System (RSSS), is a dual-purpose Earth observational and optical satellite. “No outsider was inside #Indian territory in #Ladakh nor had any border post of the Indian Army captured by outside forces.” Chinese media has translated the speech by #Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on an all- party meet called by him on Friday.
This makes one wonder whether India has invested adequately in Chinese-language training and experts who can comprehend Chinese strategic thinking.
But the subsequent clarifications by the Indian authorities were not widely shared and forwarded.
But without knowing Chinese, it is not much of much help and can actually cause misunderstandings.
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It has since been removed. For instance, article by Wang Shida of the influential Institute of South Asia Studies at China Institute of Contemporary International Relations think tank, made headlines in India after a week only when it was published in English at Chinese Economic Net . It is the 17th satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology for an overseas buyer, while PakTES-1A is an experimental satellite of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission. For example, it would likely take Pakistan decades to achieve anti-satellite (ASAT) capabilities, something that is sorely needed given India’s satellite advantage. The memes circulating on Chinese social media included one of the People’s Liberation Army and Pakistani army having a festive lunch together in Ladakh. There was a list purporting to name the Chinese soldiers killed in the attack. Indian Twitter also witnessed a flurry of fake news.
The capability of the Indian Air Force to launch an attack on China was mocked.
On Chinese social media, one trend became apparent: Chinese social media warriors have looked to Pakistani Facebook and Twitter accounts to collect memes and cartoons about India that they have translated into Chinese. The PRSS-1 is China's first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan.
This single event has undone 30 years of progress in the bilateral ties. It is increasingly evident that India-China border clashes and tensions are no longer limited to audiences of the two countries but that their enemy’s friends also have an emotional stake in the confrontation.
But is that deceptive? It also became clear that Indian social media users have no ability to understand what was happening on Chinese social media or media, unless this news translated into English.
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Some of the names on the list were of Chinese people who are long dead.
When the clash occurred along the bank of Pangong Lake on May 5-6, Weibo – the Chinese version of Twitter – featured images of Indian soldiers tied up and lying on the ground, as comparisons were made to Bollywood’s muscular portrayal of the Indian Army.
Rajiv Ranjan teaches International Relations at College of Liberal Arts, Shanghai University. Satellite map shows the Earth's surface as it really looks like.