New Delhi: A cartoon showing Hindu deity Rama fighting a Chinese dragon has gone viral on social media after it was published on a Taiwanese news portal.
The cartoon was in the context of the violent clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers Monday in the Galwan Valley, Ladakh, along the Line of Actual Control. India said 20 of its soldiers had died, and while China didn’t officially confirm how many casualties it sustained, US intelligence agencies said 35 Chinese soldiers died in the encounter.
The image was first posted on the Hong Kong social media site LIHKG by HoSaiLei, who also shared it on Twitter. It has received 2,600 retweets and 7,600 likes since it was posted on 16 June. HoSaiLei credited the image to his “Indian friend”.
— HoSaiLei🇺🇸🇬🇧🇧🇪🇯🇵🇮🇳🇰🇷 (@hkbhkese) June 16, 2020
The illustration is of Rama, believed to be the seventh reincarnation of Vishnu in Hindu mythology, drawing a bow as it targets a Chinese dragon. The text, “We Conquer, We Kill”, accompanies the illustration.
It was then picked up by the news portal Taiwan News as its ‘Photo of the day’.
‘Milk Tea Alliance’
The cartoon is being seen as a mark of solidarity from the Taiwanese and many Indian users on Twitter thanked HoSaiLei for sharing it.
It also prompted tweets on the ‘Milk Tea Alliance’, a term coined by social media users. The ‘Milk Tea Alliance’ is a concept that emerged from the fact that in Southeast Asia, tea is consumed in many nations with milk, except in China.
— Ping (@PingloveTaiwan) June 17, 2020
Sushant Sareen, a senior fellow at Observer Research Foundation, also shared the image and talked about the need to rethink the policy outlook towards China.
This pic from Taiwan News is a good starting point for seriously considering #JunkOneChinaPolicy. Maybe we need to start trending this hashtag to make the GOI rethink its China policy. pic.twitter.com/bXtj5vQfvW
— sushant sareen (@sushantsareen) June 17, 2020
Taiwan and China
Relations between Taiwan and China have steadily deteriorated in the past few years. While Taiwan has maintained its independence, China sees it as a breakaway province that will eventually be integrated with the mainland.
On 9 June, Chinese fighter jets briefly entered the island’s airspace despite verbal warnings following which Taiwanese air force jets drove them away. A similar instance had taken place on 10 February, forcing President Tsai Ing-wen to call Beijing’s moves “meaningless and unnecessary”.
Applauding Taiwan for curbing the spread of coronavirus, Indians reportedly took to the streets of Taipei in a motorcade of around 50 cars and motorcycles to the northeastern county of Yilan and back.
The country had also donated one million masks to India to aid its fight against the pandemic.