Russia's war of words with US over Crimea spills onto Chinese social media

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 5:50pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 5:11pm

Russia’s war of words with the United States over the Crimea crisis is set to spread to China’s social networks after the Russian embassy in China mounted a series of fierce accusations against the US government.

The series of allegations, made in Chinese, were posted on the popular Chinese social media platform, Weibo, in response to the US State Department’s statement “President Putin’s Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine” published last Wednesday. The US statement claimed to debunk Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims “justifying Russian aggression in the Ukraine”.

“Not only a is it a crude distortion of objectivity and facts, but it is also a brazen practice of ‘double standards’,” the Russian Embassy of China angrily lashed out through its official social media accounts on both Sina and Tencent Weibo, the two most popular microblogs in China.

It added that the US government “ignored substantial evidence of misconduct by [Ukrainian] ethnic radicals” and condemned it for “inciting the opposition to violently overthrow the legitimate government.”

Watch: Tensions mount as rivals stage rallies in Ukraine

Diplomatic tensions between Washington and Moscow have heightened since Russia stepped up its military control over the Crimean peninsula under the pretext of protecting local ethnic Russians. But the move was slammed as an “annihilation of the region” by the US and its allies in European Union.

The Russian embassy also said that military actions by the United States against a number of countries including Vietnam, former Yugoslavia and Libya, as well as its “invasions” of Iraq, Lebanon, and Panama, were unjustified.

Together the posts elicited more than 10,000 comments and were reposted more than 60,000 times on both microblog platforms.

Both the US and Russian embassies in China were not available to comment on the allegations following inquiries from the South China Morning Post on Monday afternoon.

The accusations also prompted some Chinese bloggers, apparently looking forward to a direct confrontation on Weibo, to come up with imagined scenarios where the two embassy microblogs would confront each other using obscene words.