China has been condemned over an image that appeared to mock India over the Covid-19 crisis wreaking havoc in the country.
An account on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, which was linked to the Chinese Communist Party, posted a now-deleted photo over the weekend of China launching a rocket alongside an image of bodies being cremated in India.
The photo was captioned: "Lighting a fire in China vs Lighting a fire in India."
The image was reportedly posted by the Communist Party's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, China's official law enforcement agency, which has millions of followers on Weibo, according to the BBC.
It comes as India reports 386,452 new cases. The nation has now recorded more than 18.7 million cases since the pandemic began, second only to the US.
The ongoing devastation in India is a stark difference to the situation in China, where the virus was first reported in December 2019.
As India continues to suffer, thousands in China flocked to the Great Wall in Badaling at the weekend to celebrate the Labour Day holiday.
Screenshots of the post were shared to Twitter as people expressed their outrage over the image.
"Quite despicable... Chinese Communist Party mocks Indian COVID-19 victims, showing Chinese rocket next to Indian funeral pyre," one wrote.
Journalist Mengyu Dong was too perplexed by the post.
"Someone apparently thought it was a good idea to make fun of the latest Covid-19 outbreak in India? An account affiliated with CCP Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission posted this on Weibo," the London-based journalist tweeted alongside an image of the post.
Human Rights Watch researcher Yaqiu Wang also tweeted disbelief at the post.
"This is a Chinese Government Weibo account. The lack of basic decency is just unbelievable," she wrote.
"This is just outrageous," somebody else said.
The Weibo post was shared a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping offered to help India fight against the coronavirus pandemic and expressed his condolences to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"China is willing to enhance cooperation with India on fighting Covid-19 and provide support and assistance to India," state television quoted Mr Xi as saying.
A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted it had provided aid to India as it grappled to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Incomplete statistics show China has exported to India 26,000+ ventilators & oxygen concentrators, 15,000+ monitors, nearly 3,800 tons of pharmaceutical ingredients & medicines since April. Cargo airlines from China to India are operating normally," the spokesperson said.
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