The Chinese government’s delay in evacuating its nationals in Ukraine while Russia is invading this neighboring country has put Chinese citizens and students in Ukraine in danger.
According to AFP, China waited until the war broke out to announce the evacuation efforts for its citizens, weeks after Western countries warned theirs to leave.
Reports said that Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, has been bombed by Russian troops for days. On the evening of March 3, the Ukrainian media reported that several students of the Kharkov Cultural Institute in Ukraine were killed by a Russian military bombing, including four Chinese students. According to South China Morning Post, the news was dismissed by official Chinese media outlets as “fake news.”
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, one day earlier, China said a Chinese citizen was injured in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
In Sumy, the northeastern region of Ukraine, more than 100 Chinese students were trapped in local bomb shelters, facing food shortages.
According to Radio Free Asia, a Chinese student posted on Weibo, “There are still 138 people here in the Sumy region of Ukraine who haven’t been evacuated yet. Please can the relevant departments coordinate and let us go home.”
Chinese national Fang Lei, who is trapped in the southeastern city of Melitópol, said he had tried to post similar appeals on Chinese social media, but the posts were blocked.
Fang said: “There are a lot of people trapped in Kharkiv, and this piece of information will be covered up immediately.”
Chinese embassy slowly evacuate citizens
Before the outbreak of the Ukraine-Russia war, many countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States closed their embassies in Ukraine. They urged their citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible, but China did not issue reminders to Chinese citizens in Ukraine.
After the war occurred, China’s embassy in Ukraine initially urged their citizens to post the Chinese flag for safety but later changed it and said that the Chinese “must not reveal their identities.”
After the emergency evacuation of citizens of many countries, the Chinese embassy just announced “starting a charter flight to evacuate overseas Chinese.” However, China’s “evacuation plan” was canceled on February 27, citing the escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
Chinese embassy ignores their students
A Chinese student in Ukraine posted a video on social media and pointed out that he had to send the video to clarify that the pictures of Chinese people boarding the train and returning to China circulating in the mainland media were fake.
The student said in the video: “I would like the network regulators to take action against these fake news, reports, media channels, or some respective personnel. Because right is right, and wrong is wrong, we say we must keep our word, we can do what we say, “not distort the truth, take advantage of ourselves and cause trouble for others.”