The Chinese Embassy in Ukraine has called for calm as several Chinese social media users have been banned after posting insensitive content targeting Ukrainians.
Multiple social media platforms, including Weibo, Douyin and WeChat, have begun suspending accounts for “provocative comments” while reminding users to stay “objective and rational” and maintain a “clean and upright atmosphere” while discussing the Ukraine crisis, according to South China Morning Post. Several Chinese social media users ignited outrage last week for saying they are willing to take in attractive female Ukrainian refugees on Weibo, as NextShark previously reported. Several women who called out the men were allegedly attacked online.
Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency posted a commentary on Sunday urging people to “discuss and present viewpoints in a reasonable way” while simultaneously denouncing users who “spoke inappropriately” about the Ukraine crisis matter online.
The Chinese Embassy in Ukraine also issued a statement on WeChat on Sunday calling for calm on social media: “The Ukrainians are going through difficulties and discomfort… we need to understand them and not provoke them.”
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In an earlier statement, the embassy told Chinese nationals to “be on friendly terms with the Ukrainian public, avoid having conflicts over specific issues and try to solve problems in a friendly way.”
The embassy has also backtracked on a previous statement which instructed Chinese nationals in Ukraine to display stickers of the Chinese flag and other “identifying signs” to reportedly protect them from attacks. They are now urged to take down any signs that make them recognizable, allegedly due to the “provocative comments” on Chinese social media, as well as Beijing’s refusal to take a stand against Russia amid the Ukraine crisis. The embassy is reportedly attempting to find ways to evacuate Chinese citizens once their safety is guaranteed and also “ease their anxiety,” Chinese state-run Global Times reported.
“We must get in touch with them more, to hear their needs and make sure they can contact the embassy at any time,” an embassy staffer said in a statement. “Therefore, worrying that the previous consular protection number may not be enough, we have added more contact channels so they can always reach out to us. This will also help stabilize their mood.”
“Another most important thing for now is to prepare for the evacuation of Chinese nationals,” the statement continued. “Under current circumstances, there are many Chinese people applying to go back to China, and we are working intensively on this task, which is complex and systematic work involving many variables.”
The embassy declared that once “safety premises are met,” it will “immediately take action and launch the evacuation plan” for the Chinese population in Ukraine, which consists of around 6,000 people. Currently, threats of aerial bombardments are preventing evacuation charter flights from occurring.