Chinese authorities have called for caution over online comments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid concerns that public internet sentiment stoked anger towards citizens abroad.
State news agency Xinhua urged internet users on Sunday to “discuss and present viewpoints reasonably,” criticizing those who “spoke inappropriately.”
The Russian invasion has prompted debates on Chinese social media, with some internet users sympathetic towards the plight of Ukrainians and others mocking the conflict and cheering on Russia’s aggression.
According to reports, multiple internet platforms including Weibo, TikTok sibling Douyin, and WeChat have suspended accounts with provocative content and called on users to stay “objective and rational.”
Meanwhile, reports said some social media posts sympathetic to Ukraine’s plight had been removed from China’s internet while China Central Television, a state-owned broadcaster, has relegated brief reports about the Ukraine crisis to the final minutes of its main evening broadcast.
This week Horizon News, a Chinese outlet, allegedly issued instructions not to “post anything unfavorable to Russia or pro-western”, and only use hashtags “started by People’s Daily, Xinhua, or CCTV”, the big state news organizations.
And as the world overwhelmingly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese internet, for the most part, is pro-Russia, pro-war, and pro-Putin, New York Times reported.
Chinese internet users have called Putin, “Putin the Great,” “the best legacy of the former Soviet Union,” and “the greatest strategist of this century,” while criticizing Russians who protested against the war for being brainwashed by the United States.
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