Chinese war propaganda just keeps getting better. Now, China has come up with a message that India cannot afford to miss- Global Times has reported that China’s soldiers are well-moisturised, even as the harsh Ladakh winters take a heavy toll on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
In a video tweeted by the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times, PLA frontier guards are giving a “skincare” lecture. To tell India that China is ready for war, the CCP mouthpiece says that Chinese soldiers apply “sunscreen and lip balm”. The propaganda mouthpiece also claims that such skincare exercises are giving PLA soldiers “cute” looks, only if that could win wars at high altitudes.
Attention! PLA frontier guards are giving a "skincare" lecture! Before heading on patrol, soldiers apply sunscreen and lip balm, turning their usual serious looks into "cute" ones. With lots of user experiences, soldiers can provide some good recommendations. pic.twitter.com/DFwOcmtfbX
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) November 6, 2020
India and China are currently engaged in a tense standoff along the Line of Actual Control, the effective India-Tibet border, with heavy mobilisation of troops and resources on both sides. However, it seems that China wants to win the war not on the basis of military might, but through lip balm and sunscreen.
In fact, ever since winters set in Ladakh, making the region highly inhospitable, China has been coming up with some brilliant ideas to convince us that it is war-ready. This is, in part, to hide China’s own shortcomings as the PLA remains a toothless, unacclimatized force in face of the battle-hardened Indian Army that excels in high-altitude warfare.
Right now, Global Times is telling us that Chinese soldiers will not come unequipped in harsh Ladakh winters and they will be well-moisturised with lip balm and sunscreen. Earlier this month, Chinese state media was also reporting that PLA soldiers are all set to receive winter clothing, made of ‘graphene’.
In fact, as early as September when winter had just started to set in, Editor in Chief of Global Times, Hu Xijin, had released a video claiming, “With these drones, the PLA’s frontline soldiers can enjoy hot meals once winter reaches the plateau. Some sympathize with the nearby Indian soldiers who can only eat cold canned food and have to endure the severe cold and potential spread of COVID-19.”
With these drones, the PLA’s frontline soldiers can enjoy hot meals once winter reaches the plateau. Some sympathize with the nearby Indian soldiers who can only eat cold canned food and have to endure the severe cold and potential spread of COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/Rci5H8Wbmy
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) September 11, 2020
Therefore, with the mercury dropping as low as -10 C in Ladakh’s inhospitable terrain, confrontation with India seems a far cry for Chinese soldiers. All that Chinese soldiers and propaganda wings can think about is- warm food, lip balm, sunscreen and graphene clothing. As mercury will dip further, China will become more and more concerned about keeping the “cute” skin of its soldiers intact.
China’s shoddily prepared propaganda videos about its soldiers being ready to endure Himalayan winters is actually a cover-up designed to downplay clear reports of how PLA soldiers are failing to survive in face of the reported winter situation in Ladakh. In September, for example, it was reported that the Indian Army observed some PLA troops being evacuated on stretchers from the heights of Finger 4 to a field medical facility ahead of Finger 6 due to health complications linked to high altitude.
Chinese troops have been unwilling to travel to the Eastern Ladakh sector where Indian Army and PLA troops are engaged in a bitter stand-off with each other. In a video posted by Taiwanese media recently, fresh PLA recruits could be seen sobbing uncontrollably while they were headed towards Tibet to commit human rights violations and take on the Indian Army along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
— 自由的鐘聲🗽 (@waynescene) September 20, 2020
Chinese soldiers clearly don’t want to be fighting a battle-hardened Indian Army and that too in Ladakh’s harsh winters. China has nothing to show that its men are ready for a swift battle. Therefore, the Chinese state media keeps coming up with some real gems from telling us that they have food to celebrating graphene clothes for PLA troops and now by making it clear that Chinese soldiers are keeping themselves moisturised in a challenging climate.
But the fact remains moisturisers and lip balms will not suddenly turn unacclimatized Chinese soldiers into high-altitude combat experts. Chinese PLA’s skincare rush only exposes the clear disadvantage with which China has to make do as Eastern Ladakh standoff spills into winter months.