mandag 28. februar 2022

‘They were fooled by Putin’: Chinese historians speak out against Russian invasion

For Xu Guoqi, a Chinese historian, Beijing’s reluctance to denounce Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is alarming. “I’m a historian of the first world war. Europe sleep-walked into a huge conflict over 100 years ago, which also had had enormous consequences for China,” Xu said. “The world may be at the point of no return again”.

But looking at how Chinese diplomats are responding to it, and how Chinese people have talked about it on social media in the past week, he said, “I’m afraid it seems we still have not learned the lessons of the past tragedies. As a historian I’m very disappointed.” On Saturday morning, five renowned Chinese historians – Xu included – wrote an open letter denouncing Russia’s action on its neighbour and calling for peace. The authors of the letter hope to persuade Beijing to make its stance clearer: that what Russia is doing is wrong, and China should say it out loud.