U.N. Cuts Off Indian Diplomat Criticizing China, Blames ‘Mic Failure’

Now you know who is really in charge.

An Indian diplomat’s microphone conspicuously cut out during a United Nations (U.N.) transport conference in Beijing last week just as the envoy began to criticize China’s infrastructure-building Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Wednesday.

Priyanka Sohoni, the second secretary of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, had just begun speaking at the U.N. Global Sustainable Transport Conference on October 16 when her microphone suffered a mysterious malfunction that temporarily muted her speech. Sohoni had been voicing New Delhi’s opposition to Beijing’s BRI projects in foreign countries when her microphone stopped working. Moments later, an introductory video for the next scheduled speaker began to play on a screen behind Sohoni, further interrupting her time on the conference stage.

“We are confronting some technical problems and played the video of the next speaker. I am sorry for that and asked Sohoni to resume her speech,” the summit’s co-chair, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin — who also previously served as China’s foreign minister — announced shortly afterward.

“You are lucky … You are back and welcome back,” Liu told Sohoni before allowing the diplomat to resume her speech.


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