India PM Narednra Modi with Chinese President XI Jinping/File
India PM Narednra Modi with Chinese President XI Jinping/File

On Wednesday, The Telegraph published a report stating that the Modi government borrowed USD 1,250 million from the Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), during the India-China faceoff.

It did a timeline of sorts of the India-China border clash starting June 15, the subsequent ban on Chinese apps, inking of loan agreement between India and AIIB to support measures undertaken under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and more.

The article stated that Modi government had borrowed $1,350 million from AIIB amid the border clash.

Excerpts from the article read: "There is nothing wrong in taking loans from the AIIB, especially because India is the second largest shareholder in the bank after China. Neither can the objective be faulted: the assistance was accessed for accelerating India’s Covid social protection response programme.

But the action of delinking the government’s financial transactions from bilateral tensions goes against the Centre’s policy of cracking down on Chinese business relationships in India. Besides, the Indian external affairs ministry has been asserting that it cannot be business as usual in the face of Chinese attempts to unilaterally change the facts on the ground along the border.

The loans also make the Modi government’s spin of “strong economic counter-measures against China” appear a bit rich, not to mention the pain they pile on the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign."

This was mercilessly mocked by netizens.

A Twitter user said, "This is utter rubbish headline. AIIB is as much Indian as it is Chinese. And it is a multilateral institution, not a commercial bank. Just because HQ is in Beijing doesn’t make it Chinese bank."

Another Twitter user said, "Extremely misleading headline !! Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank-AIIB has stakeholders from 103 nations. India is the 2nd largest stakeholder in this bank after China investing more than $10 billion. Does this mean that India cannot take a loan from a bank it is a part of ?"

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