As the West condemns Russia, President Vladimir Putin has vocal supporters in China, where the ruling Communist Party tells its people they are fellow targets of U.S.-led harassment.
“If Russia is destroyed, we will be next. This is for sure,” said Wang Yongchun, a retiree in Beijing. “The United States wants to dominate the world.”
Such comments reflect the stance of a ruling party that is the closest thing Putin has to a major ally: The war should stop but the United States is to blame.
President Xi Jinping’s government has tried to distance itself from Russia’s offensive but avoided criticizing Moscow. The government has offered to act as mediator and denounced trade and financial sanctions against Russia.
Ruling party control of all Chinese media and intensive internet censorship make it hard to gauge public opinion. But what the party allows online and requires media to publish make clear what it wants the public to think.
Media outlets were told last week to post only pro-Russian content and to censor anti-Russian or pro-Western views, according to a copy of instructions posted on the social media account of the newspaper Beijing News. The post was later deleted. [Continue reading…]