Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece Global Times has hinted that the United States might have had a role to play in India's Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat's chopper crash. Although it didn't say anything directly, the newspaper in reply to a tweet from Indian strategic expert Brahma Chellaney indicated that the United States may have been taking its grudge out on India.
Chellaney has, however, rubbished the claims and has lashed out at Global Times for unnecessarily giving a spin to his tweet on Wednesday wherein he compared Rawat's chopper crash with Taiwan's chief of general staff General Shen Yi-ming death last year.
China's Twisted Claims
On Wednesday, replying to the Chellaney's tweet, Global Times wrote that India should think of United States as it may have had a role to play in Rawat's chopper crash that killed him and 12 others. The strange twist to his tweet has now sent Chellaney fuming.
Shortly after Rawat's death was announced, Chellaney, said in a tweet that "Rawat's death has an eerie parallel with the helicopter crash in early 2020 that killed Taiwan's chief of general staff, Gen. Shen Yi-ming, and seven others, including two major generals."
Chellaney said that both the helicopter crash eliminated a key figure in the defense against the Chinese mainland's "aggression." This may not have gone down well with the Chinese government and the mouthpiece immediately used the tweet to say that the Indian strategic expert's "view is like suspecting the US played a role in the crash". And then it directly linked it to India-Russia defense deals and said that rather the United States should be suspected for the Mi-17V5 helicopter crash.
The CCP mouthpiece said the US's role was suspected "because India and Russia are moving forward with the delivery of a Russian S-400 missile defense system, which the US strongly opposed".
Global Times didn't say it directly but hinted at it, which Chellaney objected to.
What did Chellaney Say?
Chellaney in his tweet had written "At a time when China's 20-month-long border aggression has resulted in a warlike situation along the Himalayan front, the tragic death of India's chief of defense staff, Gen Rawat, his wife and 11 other military personnel in a helicopter crash couldn't have come at a worse time."
"Gen Rawat's death has an eerie parallel with the helicopter crash in early 2020 that killed Taiwan's chief of general staff, Gen Shen Yi-ming, and seven others, including two major generals. Each helicopter crash eliminated a key figure in the defense against PRC's aggression," he then tweeted.
This somewhat didn't go down well with the Chinese ruling party and they gave it a weird spin. Interestingly, the reply from Global Times came almost two hours after Chellaney ruled out any possibility of outside hand behind the two air crashes in India and Taiwan.
Understandably, what irked China was the reference of Taiwan given that it has territorial dispute with both the countries. But Chellaney had even cleared that in his tweet much before Global Times replied. "The strange parallel [between the two air crashes] doesn't mean there was any connection between the two helicopter crashes or an outside hand. If anything, each crash has raised important internal questions, especially about maintenance of military helicopters transporting top generals," he had written.
In any case, each accident has raised important internal questions, especially regarding the maintenance of military helicopters carrying top generals.