A social media post from an account linked to the Chinese Communist Party sparked controversy for appearing to mock India over its coronavirus crisis.
The post on the Chinese site Weibo showed an image of a rocket launch in China alongside a photo of the bodies of Covid victims cremated in India.
The text with him read, “Lighting a fire in China VS lighting a fire in India.”
The post, which appeared on Saturday afternoon, has since been deleted.
It was reportedly posted by an account belonging to an official Chinese law enforcement body – the Communist Party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission – which has millions of followers on Weibo, a popular microblogging site in the country. .
Users responding to the post, which was later shared using screenshots from the original, wrote that it was “inappropriate” and that China “should express its sympathy for India.”
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Chinese media outlet Global Times, wrote, “Hold the humanitarian banner high at this time, show sympathy for India, and firmly place Chinese society on high moral ground.”
Weibo’s message emerged a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the worsening Covid-19 crisis in the country.
Xi said China is willing to strengthen cooperation with India and provide any further assistance if necessary.
India struggles to cope with a devastating second wave of coronavirus, with hospitals scrambling to treat patients amid a chronic shortage of beds and medical oxygen.
India recorded a daily death toll of 3,689 coronavirus deaths on Sunday – the highest since the start of the pandemic.
It came a day after the country became the first to register more than 400,000 new cases in 24 hours.