‘Modi Laoxian’: Regardless of Variations With India, PM Narendra Modi Widespread Amongst Chinese language Netizens

BEIJING: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reverentially known as ‘Modi Laoxian’ which means ‘Modi the immortal’ by Chinese language netizens, a uncommon respectful reference to a global chief, however the bitter India-China border row, in response to an article revealed within the US-based strategic affairs journal The Diplomat. Within the article – ‘How is India seen in China?’, Mu Chunshan, a journalist recognized for analysing Chinese language social media, particularly Sina Weibo, (akin to Twitter in China), additionally mentioned that almost all Chinese language really feel that India led by Modi can preserve a steadiness amongst main international locations on the earth. Sina Weibo has over 582 million energetic customers.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an uncommon nickname on the Chinese language web: Modi Laoxian. Laoxian refers to an aged immortal with some bizarre skills. The nickname implies that Chinese language netizens suppose Modi is completely different, much more wonderful than different leaders,” he mentioned.

They level to each his costume and bodily look, seen as Laoxian-like, and a few of his insurance policies, that are completely different from India’s earlier ones, Mu mentioned.

On India’s relations with different main international locations, he mentioned, whether or not it’s Russia, america, or World South international locations, India can get pleasure from pleasant ties with all of them, which is “very admirable” to some Chinese language netizens.

“So the phrase ‘Laoxian’ displays the complicated sentiment of Chinese language folks towards Modi, combining curiosity, astonishment, and maybe a splash of cynicism,” Mu wrote.

“I’ve been doing worldwide media studies for almost 20 years and it’s uncommon for Chinese language netizens to provide a nickname to a overseas chief. Modi’s nickname stands out above all others. Clearly, he has made an impression on Chinese language public opinion,” he mentioned.

In addition to internet hosting Chinese language President Xi Jinping and former Premier Li Keqiang, since he got here to energy in 2014, Modi additionally held two uncommon casual summits with Xi, 69, in Wuhan and later in Mamallapuram close to Chennai, which raised expectations of enchancment within the relations between the 2 Asian giants.

The Sino-Indian relations hit the underside following aggressive navy actions by the Chinese language navy in jap Ladakh violating the agreements to resolve the border dispute resulting in a virtually three-year-long navy standoff.

The 2 international locations have held 17 rounds of high-level navy commanders’ talks to resolve the standoff.

India has been sustaining that ties with China can’t be regular except there’s peace within the border areas.

Modi can also be well-known in China as he interacted with the Chinese language public via his account on Sina Weibo which he opened in 2015 and had over 2.44 lakh followers.

Nevertheless, he give up Weibo in July 2020 after the Indian authorities moved to ban 59 Chinese language Apps to ship a ‘sturdy message on the border, on the financial entrance and at a private degree too,’ in response to BJP basic secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh.

In his article, Mu says Chinese language views of India are very sophisticated however typically based mostly on a way of superiority and self-confidence.

Considerably, he writes that the Chinese language netizens imagine China’s makes an attempt to make use of its ‘all-weather ally’, Pakistan as ‘unrealistic’ because the hole between the 2 South Asian neighbours is ‘getting wider’, an obvious reference to the political and financial meltdown Pakistan is at the moment experiencing.

“The details over the previous 9 years have proved that China and India have extra room for cooperation. For instance, China’s commerce with India is value USD115 billion a yr ‘excess of China’s commerce with Pakistan, which sits at round USD 30 billion’, Mu wrote.

“In fact, China has not forgotten Pakistan. However many Chinese language netizens have a practical view of the 2 South Asian neighbours. The argument may be very sober: The concept of utilizing Pakistan to restrain India is turning into extra unrealistic as a result of the hole between Pakistan and India is getting wider,” he mentioned.

He additionally writes about Chinese language apprehension about India’s rising recognition with western international locations, particularly with the US and New Delhi’s dealing with of the Ukraine disaster with out disrupting its shut ties with Russia and America.

“This is only one instance of a widespread notion in China: India is the favorite of the West, whereas China has turn out to be the goal of the West. How did India handle this? Why is India’s circle of worldwide associates so huge?- was the query debated by the Chinese language netizens.

Most Chinese language folks really feel a way of superiority and self-confidence vis-a-vis India and naturally, most Chinese language folks do not wish to see India get too near america, however in addition they suppose China and India can nonetheless cooperate, the article mentioned.

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