Chinese Censors Delete Academics’ Post Denouncing Russian Invasion | Taiwan News
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A post on Chinese social media platform Weixin jointly signed by five prominent scholars denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was almost immediately taken down by Chinese censors on Saturday (February 26).
Among the five scholars were Sun Jiang (孫江) from Nanjing University, Wang Lixin (王立新) from Peking University, Xu Guoqi (徐國琦) from the University of Hong Kong, Zhong Weimin (仲偉民) from Tsinghua University and Chen Yan (陳雁) of Fudan University, by CNA.
The authors criticized Russia for, despite being a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a nuclear power, ruthlessly attacking a weaker “sister state”. “We feel the pain of the Ukrainian people,” the teachers proclaimed.
They wrote that calls for peace had resonated around the world and that they too wanted to join in the outcry: “We are following developments closely, thinking of the past, concerned about the future and, amid the tumult of the people, we feel that we have to make our voice heard. The article concluded: “Peace comes from the heart. We oppose unjust wars.
The message appeared around 6 p.m. Saturday. It wasn’t long before a slew of state-sponsored internet trolls – members of the so-called “50 Cent Party” – left a series of critical comments, asking why academics hadn’t spoken up when the United States had invaded other countries.
One of the commentators called the academics “five rats harassing China”, while another claimed they had “violated the country’s position” on the issue. Several netizens said they reported the academics to the authorities.
The “anti-Russian content” was removed in two hours. An accidental leak of censorship instructions for Chinese state media on Tuesday (February 22nd) showed that any content unfavorable to Russia or pro-Western must be censored in China.