Five renowned historians from five top Chinese universities jointly issued a statement opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 26. However, 1.5 hours later, the statement was deleted and all posts from the social media account that made the post also disappeared.
In the past few days, more Chinese scholars have been reposting commitments made by the Chinese regime to Ukraine over the past few years, in which Beijing pledged to protect Kyiv because Ukraine has supported Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative and other projects that the regime launched in the global community.
Some other scholars urged the regime to clarify its position on the Russia-Ukraine war, after Chinese students in Ukraine questioned whether Beijing supports Moscow's invasion.
Silence on Russia's InvasionOn Feb. 25 during a daily press conference in Beijing, the spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry Wang Wenbin was asked repeatedly about Beijing's attitude on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Feb. 26, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine warned all Chinese in the country to stay at home. The embassy described the fighting between Russians and Ukrainians on streets as “extreme behaviors,” and said that people were slandering and shooting each other due to extreme emotion.
In contrast to comments from the central government in Beijing, the embassy said they were in the process of organizing emergency flights to evacuate Chinese in Kyiv because the conditions had “deteriorated sharply.”
Two days earlier, the embassy had suggested to Chinese in Ukraine that they “hold the Chinese flag when driving their cars,” claiming that soldiers wouldn’t attack them if they saw the flags.
Supporting UkraineAt 6:01 p.m. of Feb. 26, Sun Jiang, a professor of history at Nanjing University; Wang Lixin, a professor of history at Beijing University; Xu Guoqi, a professor of history at Hong Kong University; Zhong Weimin, a professor of history at Tsinghua University; and Chen Yan, a professor of history at Fudan University jointly published a statement on Sun’s WeChat account.
“A permanent member of the United Nations, which is a big country and owns nuclear weapons, fired against its weak and fraternal state!” the historians said in the statement, referred to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. “We feel deeply sad when we see Ukraine’s wounds.”
The historians said that experts around the world, the Ukrainian people, and Russian people are against this war, and oppose this invasion as well. They said that the Chinese people used to suffer from wars, so they “feel the same way as the Ukrainian people.”
They criticized Russia for violating international rules and invading a sovereign state. They expressed support for the Ukrainian people as they defend their country, and worried that Russia’s invasion would cause humanitarian disaster across a large area, which won’t be limited to Ukraine or Europe.
“We strongly urge the Russian regime and President Vladimir Putin to stop the war, and solve the disputes by negotiation,” the historians stated.
However, Sun's posts all disappeared at 7:30 p.m. Sun and the other professors haven't commented on the disappearance of the posts since.
On Chinese social media platform Weibo, almost all posts relating to the Russia-Ukraine war on Feb. 26 were expressing support for Russia, with only a few posts of Russians protesting in their streets opposing the invasion.
The Epoch Times hasn't been able to verify whether the Chinese regime is censoring anti-Russian posts.
On Feb. 26, Reuters quoted a Western diplomat in Beijing who said the Chinese regime’s "first reaction of denying there was an invasion was surprising to us … It is a total contradiction with their long-standing positions on sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference.”
The diplomat declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, according to Reuters.