An old Chinese saying, “A close neighbor is better than a distant relative,” was recently echoed by many Chinese and Indian netizens after China and other neighboring countries expressed willingness to help India fight its COVID-19 surge.
There have appeared some voices among Indian netizens calling for their country to quit the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), as the US had clearly not made efforts to help India, which faces a desperate shortage of medical resources amid the alarming crisis.
It was not until Sunday that the White House announced that the US will “help India in its time of need.”
“Your next-door neighbor is usually first to respond in an emergency situation, your friends come much later. India should now seriously think of its relationship with so-called best friend US which is the most selfish piece of land on Planet,” a netizen named Dr. Rajneesh commented under a Monday tweet by the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka announcing that 800 oxygen concentrators had been airlifted on Monday from China’s Hong Kong SAR to Delhi, with 10,000 more coming in a week.
“India should have the moral courage to leave the Quad. It is an abomination which is simply an anti-China alliance,” another netizen commented, adding that India should not acquiesce to being some “white people’s toilet cleaner” in Asia.
Many Indian netizens praised China for its generosity and expressed their gratefulness to China after China’s Foreign Ministry expressed willingness at least three times in less than a week to assist India in the epidemic fight.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that China is working on allocating medical supplies including oxygen concentrators to India, and China is willing to work with India and provide help through multiple channels.
On Chinese social media platforms, many netizens said China should help Indian people at this difficult moment, as human life takes priority.
“Personally, I think we should provide help, as India helped China with medical resources when the COVID-19 epidemic hit China in early 2020,” one netizen said.
Some also believe that helping India curb COVID-19 will prevent the epidemic from plaguing China and neighboring countries again.
“If the epidemic gets out of control in India, our friends like Pakistan and Nepal will suffer as a result. So, to help India now is to help our friends, the sooner the better!” a netizen commented.
While many Chinese netizens sympathize with Indian people facing the grave epidemic situation, and said they support the Foreign Ministry to extend a helping hand, some said they hold mixed feelings toward offering help to India.
Some said they were not willing to see this happen at this time, given the previous border conflicts between the two sides, including one in which four Chinese soldiers sacrificed their lives when dealing with the Indian military’s illegal trespassing of the Galwan Valley Line of Actual Control in June 2020.
Some also worry that it would cost too much to offer help considering the dire situation in India, but agree that helping neighbors is helping ourselves as it is a small world.
India’s COVID-19 crisis continued on Tuesday, as daily new cases remained over 300,000 for the sixth consecutive day. There were 323,144 new COVID-19 cases and 2,771 fatalities reported in the country on Tuesday, bringing total confirmed cases to 17.64 million, while the death toll climbed to 197,894.