China media: Watching Ukraine
- 20 February 2014
- From the section China
Media are reporting prominently on the latest developments in the political crisis in Ukraine.
The protests that erupted three months ago, after the country's President Viktor Yanukovych rejected an association and trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia, have violently escalated in the past few days.
China says it is following events in Ukraine closely and has called for a dialogue between "relevant parties" that will "give priority to national interests" and restore order.
Xinhua news agency carries an article by Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing daily Wen Wei Po, which describes the Ukraine crisis as a "battle between great powers", with two opposing forces fighting over whether "to go East", towards Russia, or "to head West" and side with the EU.
A commentary in the Beijing Youth Daily is pessimistic about the future of Ukraine, saying that "external influence has encroached the country".
"Ukraine is not a player but only a pawn in the Eurasian game of chess… it does not have the freedom to design its own future. The ambitions of the EU and Russia are two chariots going in different directions," it says.
Echoing similar sentiments, the Global Times notes that the West "is extraordinarily warm-hearted" towards Ukraine and "frequently interferes in its internal affairs by instigating the opposition to challenge the incumbent government".
It warns that China should draw "lessons from the mistakes of others".
The paper writes that if the streets of Beijing "become so radical and accept what the West asks us to do", then there "is a high possibility that we will experience long-term turbulence and have a divided nation".
Top official investigated
Moving on to other news, media are reporting that a probe has been launched into the activities of another top official who is suspected of "disciplinary violations and breaking the law".
This comes a day after a vice-governor of Hainan Province was put under investigation for the same reason.
Zhu Zuoli, the vice-chairman of the Shaanxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, had previously worked for 18 years in the Shaanxi provincial economic and commercial commission, and also for a long time in the Shaanxi development and reform commission, recalls the Global Times.
The Beijing News suspects that Mr Zhu's investigation is related to his time in the development and reform commission, as he had "lots of power" then.
The institution is in charge of developing multi-party co-operation, provides political consultation and also serves as a forum to "promote socialist democracy" in the Chinese political system.
"What these five officials have in common is that… they were all 'top guns' in various units, so it was difficult to check on them. Once they left their high-flying posts, clues started to appear and problems were found," the daily quotes experts as saying.
Elsewhere, media report that the authorities in the Chinese capital are planning to ban commuters in the metro from eating or drinking in the underground carriages.
Those who do so could be slapped with a maximum fine of 500 yuan (US$82; £49).
Netizens are divided over the proposed ban, with supporters complaining that the unbearable smell of food cannot be disguised even with the best foreign perfumes, says the China News Service.
However, the Beijing Youth Daily notes that there were also people who opposed to the ban, saying the rule showed a lack of concern for people who were forced to take breakfast on their way to work.
And finally, a wealthy man was conned out of millions of dollars, and also lost his luxury car, after trying to enrol his daughter at a military school.
The businessman met a man who allegedly lied that he was the aide of a top official in the Central Military Commission and was able to help the girl join the school and also promised to find her a job, writes the Beijing Times.
He kept his promise but the daughter was later expelled from the military school and also lost her job after her records were found to be "dubious".
The report says the businessman had given 51 million yuan ($8,383,157; £5,027,209) and a Mercedes Benz to the man in exchange for his services.