South Asia and Beyond

Ukraine Crisis: Chinese Media Censorship Exposed

Media censorship in China is routine and public knowledge but the back story is seldom let out. But even oppressive regimes such as the Chinese Communist Party goof up. Horizon News, a video news network under the state-run Beijing News, instructed its staff to avoid posting any Ukraine-related content on the social media platform Weibo that may be seen as unfavourable to Russia. “Let me review your draft before you first put it out,” stated the Weibo post, which has since been removed. Commentaries, it added, must be “carefully selected and controlled,” while topic selections should follow the lead of People’s Daily, Xinhua, and CCTV—three of the country’s foremost Party mouthpieces. “Whoever publishes them will be held responsible,” the post said, as reported by The Epoch Times. Russia’s military operation against Ukraine is being handled delicately by China, as blogged by Ming Jinwei, a former senior editor for Xinhua. “In the Ukraine crisis, a slight nudge will trigger a chain reaction,” he wrote. According to him, China should “back Russia morally and emotionally but without overly provoking America and the European Union”. Given the Chinese reaction so far, he seems to have his finger on the pulse.

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