Ukraine: How China is censoring online discussion of the war
By Kai Wang
12 March 2022
Official and mainstream media carry regular reports on the situation in Ukraine but have stopped short of calling Russia’s actions a “war” or “invasion”.
Doublethink Lab, which has been tracking disinformation attempts in real time, has pointed out the Chinese media are “regularly quoting disinformation and conspiracy theories from Russian sources”.
False claims, such as that the Ukrainians set fire to their own nuclear plant, are repeated by Chinese media with little attempt to challenge them.
There is also very little reporting on the resistance from the Ukraine side nor the wider Western response to Russia’s invasion.
“In my view, the censorship over Ukraine content is imbalanced… with comments and voices that run counter to the official [Chinese] position being much more heavily targeted than other views,” Ms Cook says.
Where criticism of events in Ukraine does appear, it is often directed at the United States, placing the blame on it for fanning the flames of the conflict.
In one article published in China’s Global Times, the US is accused of profiteering from selling weapons to Ukraine.
In another, the US is accused of releasing “disinformation on the Ukraine crisis to smear China”.