Chinese state media, social media ban public criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Chinese state media, social media ban public criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In recent days, Chinese state media and social media companies have been suppressing criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chinese state media, social media ban public criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

On February 22, the international channel of China’s “Beijing News”, “World News”, posted a directive on its Weibo account for news of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The now-deleted instruction on Weibo said, “Immediately, Ukrainian-related Weibo posts will be posted on Weibo. They will all be posted on the world’s first page, followed by a large number, and pushed to the world. Those that are unfavourable to Russia and pro-Western will not be posted.”

“Comments are selected and controlled, first select them, and then release suitable comments, and ask whoever publishes them to be responsible.” The Weibo instruction also instructs “to really pay attention to comments and release them. Keep an eye on each comment for at least two days. Pay attention. Handover. If you are talking about a topic, only use the topic of Xinyang (referring to “People’s Daily”, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV).

“I am shocked by what is happening in the world right now. The 21st century is an era of dialogue and diplomacy, not war and hatred,” International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said in his opening remarks in Beijing on Friday. Say.

However, translators from China Central Television (CCTV) did not translate this part of his remarks during the broadcast, and the state news media banned it from broadcasting.

Over the weekend, Chinese video streaming company iQiyi refused to broadcast Premier League matches because of their support for Ukraine, the BBC reported .

Carl Minzner, a professor at Fordham Law School in New York City and a senior fellow in China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that since Putin and Xi Jinping signed a joint statement on February 4, China’s Foreign policy “has been locked in a pro-Russian” stance.

“China’s top leader has personally linked his country to Russia. And this political orientation has set the tone for state media’s coverage of the Ukraine war in China itself,” Minkesheng told VOA. “Deviating from this position, criticizing it, or even just pointing out the dire consequences of the Russian war on civilians, risk raising questions about Xi Jinping’s own decision to be so strongly pro-Russia in the first place.”

Jin Xing, a well-known Chinese dancer and host, was deleted on March 1 after her Weibo post was critical of Putin and anti-war.

Jin Xing wrote in the deleted Weibo: “The scariest thing in 2022 is: a Chinese woman with an iron chain around her neck said, the world doesn’t want me anymore! A crazy Russian man said: don’t let me continue to be President, I don’t want this world anymore!” Weibo also accompanied a photo of a female anchor in blue and yellow clothes and wrote: “Judging from the color of CCTV’s clothes, she supports Ukraine. Stop. War, pray for peace!”

Jin Xing then posted a new post saying: “I didn’t delete Weibo myself, it was blocked by the system! Those who want to scold me without thinking, please verify their real names on Weibo before coming! Express your personal opinions and respect all life, Stand up against war!!!”

“The lives you respect include those who were massacred by the Ukrainian Nazis in Wudong,” commented a Weibo user named Taowen under the verified name of Jinxing’s post.

In an article about Jin Xing’s “inappropriate remarks” published last Thursday on Sina, the parent company of Weibo , the author suggested that Jin Xing’s “career path in the future may not be as smooth as before”.

Sina Weibo is not the only Chinese social media platform to ban voices “unfavorable to Russia”. WeChat, another popular social media platform owned by Chinese tech company Tencent, is also banning such voices.

Wang Jixian, 37, a Beijinger living in Ukraine, discovered on Monday that his WeChat account had been blocked by the platform after he posted some videos on his WeChat Moments from local Ukrainian news about the situation in Ukraine.

“I get too much unnecessary pressure from WeChat,” Wang told VOA in a phone interview on Monday. “I sent a message to my parents this morning (on WeChat), hey, I’m safe, and suddenly I’ve been blocked.”

According to Wang Jixian, on Chinese social media he saw “completely opposite” stories about Ukraine.

“So, I posted [local videos and news] and asked people to correct me or tell me reality if they thought they knew better,” Wang Jixian said.

Because Beijing and Moscow are strategic allies, Beijing “prevents the Chinese from knowing the truth,” said Wang Yaqiu, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Information control has always been the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party’s rule over China,” Wang told VOA. “Without censorship and propaganda, without covering up its abuse of power and deceiving the public, the party simply cannot stay in power.”

Sunbal Razzaq

Sunbal Razzaq is the founder & CEO of Sunshine Tips.

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