China on Tuesday issued an advisory asking its citizens leaving under-attack Ukraine to behave themselves, remain quiet and show respect to local women and children as they finally begin to make their way out of the country through their nearest border points in batches.
The Chinese embassy advice for its nationals to remain quiet, courteous and travel in a group was given in the backdrop of possible resentment against them among locals who are aware of Beijing’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Beijing's pro-Kremlin approach concerning the ongoing Russian military operations in the Ukrainian territory might compromise the safety of the Chinese citizens stranded in Ukraine, said a media report.
According to the Chinese embassy in Kyiv, there were around 6,000 Chinese nationals in Ukraine when Russia launched its military operations in the country, reported Vision Times.
Notably, the Chinese embassy initially advised its citizens to display the flags of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on their cars as a sign of their neutral position concerning the ongoing conflict.
However, revoking this decision on February 26, the embassy told its citizens to "avoid ... flaunting symbols of their identity", the publication reported citing Radio France Internationale (RFI).
The Chinese embassy also advised the PRC nationals to maintain "harmonious relations with the Ukrainian people " and "avoid confrontations on specific issues." With China's pro-Russia attitude in the whole conflict, showing the PRC's colours got some Chinese citizens in Ukraine in trouble.
"I put the national flag on my car, as the embassy recommended. Then people started chasing me, what the [expletive]," the media outlet quoted a Telegram user.
"Do you dare take responsibility for your words? Putting the flag on yourself and going outside is looking for death. Everyone knows that the Chinese here are affluent and well-supplied, and on top of that people here think the Chinese support Russia's invasion of Ukraine," said another user berating the Chinese embassy.
Notably, though the Chinese Foreign Ministry on February 23 said the sovereignty of all nations, including that of Ukraine, must be respected, it has accused the United States and its allies of augmenting the situation.
Further, Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 4 signed a major strategic agreement with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, securing the economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Moreover, Chinese social media, filled with pro-Russian sentiments, clearly demonstrates Beijing's pro-Kremlin attitude. Also, prior to Russia's military operations in Ukraine, Chinese state media accidentally published guidelines on how to handle the Russia-Ukraine conflict: to support Moscow and expurgate content presenting Russia in a negative light.