anti war

by Alexander Boyd at

China’s anti-war voices continue to suffer censorship as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine goes on. The dominant theme of online discourse is Russophilia, though at least some of that appears to have been orchestrated. The New York Times noted that a Chinese translation of Putin’s rambling speech announcing the attack got over 1 billion views within 24 hours. One Weibo user reportedly wrote, ​​“If I were Russian, Putin would be my faith, my light.” But there was pushback as well. One WeChat essayist derisively labeled those engaged in pro-Russia histrionics “Russians in spirit,” a play on a formula most recently used to satirize advocates for friendship with the Taliban. Anti-war voices on Weibo have been numerous and prolific.

On February 28, Russian state-owned outlet Sputnik shared an article on Weibo that quoted Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, as she told a Russian television station that the country still has friends in the international sphere: “Look at the reaction of the world’s giants. Those who do not pretend to be giants, but real giants. Well, in particular, China. You see this reaction.” The article also quoted a tweet from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian that showed an image of Uncle Sam pouring fuel on a fire labeled “Ukraine,” with the caption: “The US should ask itself who’s the one that started all these.” China’s government has joined Russia’s in emphasizing NATO expansion as the cause of the conflict, but this stance and the Sputnik post elicited dismay from some Weibo users. CDT compiled and translated a sampling of the reactions below: 

@每天进步一点点6666:Don’t make China complicit in this. We don’t support you launching a war. Don’t muddy the waters on this point.

@陈易训xl:No one, except my son, can speak on my behalf. I don’t want to be friends with the invaders.

@埖丅誰:This is a disgrace to our government.

@sBatman7:  Do you know why Kung Fu Panda’s dad is a goose? [“Goose” and “Russia” are homophones in Mandarin.]

read more

Leave a Reply