Video blogger from China, 36, who lives in Odessa, Ukraine, has been labeled a ‘national traitor’ by his own people back home for simply posting videos of war-torn Ukraine. When Wang Jixian, a Beijing-born programmer, posted videos of his whereabouts to let his parents know he was doing well during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he unintentionally became the voice of resistance.
On February 24, the first day of the invasion, Jixian posted a video on Douyin, China’s answer to TikTok, about how things were normal despite the approaching war. According to the video, he purports to say, ‘I just bought groceries.’
Russian aggression against Ukraine escalated as the days passed. When he would log into Douyin, Jixian would see Chinese people praising the Russian troops or supporting the invasion. Within a short period of time, he became active on several social media apps such as YouTube and WeChat and began posting videos aimed at sensitizing the public on the war.
In the course of offering an independent perspective on the war, he soon gained traction, contrary to Chinese media reports stating that Russia dethroned the ‘Nazi regime’. The man in the video holds up his Chinese passport and says, ‘These Ukrainian guards are not Nazis. They are IT programmers, common people, barbers — these are the people’, CNN reported.
Jixian’s rise to fame was quickly followed by critics slamming him for not siding with the Chinese views, even calling him a ‘national traitor’. According to CNN, a critic told Jixian on Douyin, ‘You don’t need this Chinese passport anymore, you’ve already forgotten which country you are from. The official position of the country should be the view of all Chinese’, it added.
Despite facing global pressure, China has so far maintained a neutral stance and said Moscow’s ‘legitimate security concerns’ deserve consideration. There have been reports that China has sent military and economic aid to Russia, which Beijing denies.