The Crimean parliament and an overwhelming majority of voters chose to join the Russian Federation, sparking protest from the US and EU and putting China in a rather difficult diplomatic dilemma. China’s government censors were quick to to forbid news organizations from making any connection to China’s own sovereignty “issues.” While Mainland news outlets were refraining from making those sensitive connections, Sina Weibo comments that did were being deleted [zh]. For example:
北京朱维民: China mustn’t recognize the results of the Crimean referendum, or else it will cause no end of trouble. Imagine if Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) launched a vote for independence, where would you stand then?
The Global Times’ Chief Editor Hu Xijin served his compatriots a reprimand for “daring to make comparisons” [zh]:
胡锡进: Don’t compare Crimea to Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Tibet, okay? The US and UK wouldn’t dare make that comparison, nor would the DPP, so why are we Mainland Chinese so quick to overanalyze? If we let Taiwan have a referendum, what do you think would happen? Let the Anti-Secession Law serve its purpose! China is never in the wrong, and from now on our need for power is most important. In this world, to a great degree, truth follows power.
As often happens after Hu lets loose a weibo, many netizens were vexed:
dididadadididadaV5: Is Editor Hu a fascist or a militarist?
JumpMan2013: The greatest power lies in the hearts of the people, not in military might. Do you understand?
爬行的琥珀: In your thinking, marginalized social groups have nearly no power, so they’re always in the wrong and must accept their misfortune as fate?
新疆环桥文化传播: “Whoever holds the power is justified.” We’ve always been practicing this “truth” internally.
(Note: the user account of this post in translation is: “Huanqiao Culture Communication in Xinjiang”)
悲夫-愚夫: If it only follows power, can you still call it “truth”?
For more commentary from China’s netizens on the recent events and referendum in Crimea, see ChinaSMACK’s “Netizens Compare Lost Chinese Territory to Crimea,” or the Huffington Post’s “Crimea Referendum Sparks Secession Debate in China.” Read more reactions to Hu Xijin on CDT Chinese [zh].