Chinese media coverage of the war in Ukraine has focused on claims presented by Russia without evidence that the United States was using Ukraine to research biological weapons, while concerns about China’s position on the conflict persist.
Coverage of the situation in Ukraine on the front pages of People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, and Xinhua, the official state news agency, was limited, with only one direct reference to the Ukraine on the first and two on the second.
Xinhua, however, published an article on Russian claims that the United States is funding biological research in Ukraine with the aim of discovering how to secretly transmit dangerous pathogens. The United States denied the allegations, which were presented without evidence.
China Central Television, the public broadcaster, issued a similar note by airing a segment asking, “Does the US have a biological military plan in Ukraine?
The English-language coverage was even more hawkish, with the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid, asking: “What has [the] Is the US done with bat coronavirus in Ukraine? The three most widely read articles in the Global Times focused on the Russian claims.
An opinion piece in China Daily urged readers not to compare the situation in Ukraine with that in Taiwan, blaming the war in the former on “geopolitical movements of certain countries”. [which] posed a threat to the national security of others,” repeating Beijing’s line that NATO should respect Russia’s “legitimate security concerns.”
The article claimed that Taiwan, meanwhile, had been misled by “separatists” and foreign forces and that Beijing might be “forced” to invade.
Most Chinese media have refrained from referring to an “invasion” or a “war”, preferring to use Putin’s description of a “special military operation”.