China’s embassy in Moscow blasted what it called a “brutal” handling by Russian authorities of a denial of entry to the country by several Chinese citizens.
(Bloomberg) — China’s embassy in Moscow blasted what it called a “brutal” handling by Russian authorities of a denial of entry to the country by several Chinese citizens.
“Russia’s brutal and excessive law-enforcement activities in this incident have seriously violated the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizens,” the embassy said in a post Friday on WeChat, the popular Chinese social-media outlet.
The embassy said that five of its nationals were “repeatedly questioned for four hours” at a checkpoint when they attempted to cross the Russia-Kazakhstan border on July 29. Their entry was denied, with their tourist visas being revoked, according to the legation.
The rare criticism stands in stark contrast with the “no limits” friendship declared by Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin last year. China has been prominent in refusing to condemn Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and has overseen a steady strengthening in bilateral economic ties with its northern neighbor.
The embassy said it had made representations to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Federal Security Bureau, and Federal Border Guard Service after officials reviewed a video that was provided by the individuals involved in the incident.
China’s legation went on to say, “It goes against the big picture of Sino-Russian friendship and the growing trend of friendly people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.”
Putin and Xi agreed last year there were “no forbidden zones” in cooperation between their countries, in a joint statement in Beijing days before Russia’s Ukraine invasion.
The language used in the Chinese embassy’s post is more aligned with what the country’s diplomats reserve for protests against Western nations. The post demanded Russia “explain the cause of the incident, take active measures to eliminate the bad influence, and ensure that similar incidents will not recur in the future.”
Russia needs to “conduct a further investigation into the excessive law enforcement activities by border guards and provide the Chinese side a satisfactory answer,” the embassy added.
The remarks came days after a Chinese influencer with nearly a million followers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, posted a video describing his ordeal at the Russia-Kazakhstan border checkpoint. “Now we have a deep understanding of the broad and profound friendship between Russia and China,” he said.
–With assistance from George Lei.
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