Fanning hate on Chinese netizens, NYT can't hide US' warlike nature
Published: Feb 28, 2022 09:02 PM
US media Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US media Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

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As the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates, the US - the world's biggest war machine - is still busy inciting more chaos. At the same time, some of the US' propaganda tools are working at full throttle to cooperate with Washington's strategy. Right now, one of the targets of their attacks is China and Chinese netizens.

A New York Times (NYT) article on Sunday entitled "Why the Chinese Internet Is Cheering Russia's Invasion" argues that Chinese netizens generally are "pro-Russia, pro-war and pro-Putin" while the world is "overwhelmingly" condemning Russia's military operation in Ukraine. The tone of the article's argument sounds as if China and its netizens are standing on the opposite of the rest of the world.

The report cites comments of several users on China's Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo as evidence. However, with the number of Chinese internet users at more than 1 billion, could just some eye-catching voices represent the attitude of the entire group of Chinese netizens? There are many anti-war voices on US social media platforms, does it change the US from being a warlike country?

Those voices from the Chinese internet are more about understanding Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision, rather than supporting it. Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times there might be two reasons behind this.

"First, and most importantly, the US views China and Russia as its top two 'enemies.' It has been making all efforts to contain the two countries. It is natural that Chinese people can easily understand Russia's feelings," he said.

On the other hand, Lü noted, many Chinese people believe that this is a counterattack that Putin had to make under the strategic dilemma he was being forced to face. The majority of Chinese netizens understand that the eastward expansion of NATO and the historical feud between Russia and Ukraine are the root causes of the current military conflict.

And it is even more absurd to use some Chinese netizens' words to proclaim that Chinese people are "pro-war." Chinese people are peace-loving, and this is in the Chinese cultural genes. On the contrary, the US has been either at war or provoking wars in other countries almost every year since its founding. The US and its propaganda machine have the least right to say that the Chinese people "support" the war.

Moreover, many Chinese internet users said they agree with and support the Chinese government's decision to "determine its position concerning the Ukrainian issue on its own merits." However, in the eyes of some Western elites, whoever does not openly and strongly condemn Russia is perceived to be "pro-Russia" and "pro-war." Such a black-or-white mentality tries to confine the solution to the matter within the established Western framework, hindering the emergence of any new, alternative route to resolve the current conflict.

Some US media, such as the NYT, are misleading the public. By fanning public opinion to vent its fury on Chinese netizens, they turn the trouble the US and its allies have created into a China problem. In addition, these outlets are also blurring the line between different viewpoints. In their eyes, not publicly condemning Russia and joining the West's sanctions equals "pro-Russia," and opposing and criticizing the constant provocations made by the US and NATO equals "pro-war."

Just like a Twitter user pointed out, "This idea that those of us focused on opposing NATO expansion and the vicious 8-year war on Russian speakers in Donbas are somehow 'Putinistas' is simply a bad faith critique."

Until now, it seems the US media still haven't reflected even a bit on what Washington and NATO have done. While the mess the West has made is still to be cleaned up, US propaganda machines are denouncing China, the country that actively seeks to cool down the situation. It only demonstrates how horribly hypocritical and evil some US elites are. Luckily, their true ugly face of pretending to be peacemakers and "anti-war activists" after stirring up trouble has been revealed to the whole world.