China tells its citizens in Ukraine not to display 'identifying symbols,' 2 days after it advised them to show the Chinese flag on their cars

  • The Chinese embassy in Ukraine asked citizens not to display identifying symbols.

  • Two days prior, the embassy said Chinese citizens should show their national flag when driving.

  • China continues to avoid outwardly condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

On Saturday, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine appealed to its citizens in the country to not highlight their identities in public.

The recommendation comes two days after the embassy advised Chinese nationals to display their national flag when driving.

In a WeChat post on Saturday, the embassy said that there's an uptick in "extreme behavior" in Ukraine that constitutes heightened security risks for Chinese citizens.

"Don't highlight your identity or display identifying symbols," the embassy recommended in the post, addressing Chinese nationals.

China has sought to walk a fine line in its approach to the invasion, even as Russia, its close ally, comes under increasing pressure from the west.

China repeatedly avoided calling Russia's actions an invasion at a press conference on Thursday organized by China's foreign ministry. On a call with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Friday, Chinese president Xi Jinping urged Putin to resolve the situation through negotiations with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky. In a statement on Sunday, Zelensky's office said Russian and Ukrainian delegations have agreed to meet for discussions on the Belarusian border.

Chinese state-affiliated daily Global Times wrote in a report on Monday that at least one unnamed Chinese businesswoman based in Kyiv was harassed as China continued to pursue its current position on the conflict.

On Saturday, she was heckled by locals at a gas station, the report wrote. She was also quoted as saying that Chinese students in Ukraine have had to head to bomb shelters in groups to avoid being harassed on the way.

"Some agitated young Ukrainians must be thinking: China is on the side of Russia," the businesswoman was quoted as saying.

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