On March 3, 2022, Yu Jianrong (于建嵘), a well-known Chinese social scholar and Internet celebrity, published a short article titled "My Opinion on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict." The article was posted on "Dongshufang Lecture Hall" (东书房大讲堂), Yu's public account on the Weixin.qq.com platform.
In the article, Yu condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Yu wrote: "The invasion of a sovereign country carries huge political and military risks. No matter what the excuses are, in the current international environment in which national sovereignty and territorial integrity are still important, aggression is aggression. It is morally wrong period."
Yu then concluded: "With the situation of the war in Ukraine getting entangled and protracted, the opinions of the Chinese people will become more fractured and divided. From the perspective of humanitarianism, the anti-war stance will remain to be the mainstream."
Below is Yu's article:
'[An] Aggression Is [An] Aggression. It Is Morally Wrong Period'
"Since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out, many friends have asked about my take on it. As a matter of fact, I am neither an expert on international relations nor a military expert. My major is political sociology and the focus of my research is on political transformation. My main responsibility at work is the studying of the social problems in rural China. Anyone who talks about topics outside his or her major is not offering the opinions of an expert. His or her views, therefore, are no different from those of ordinary intellectuals. Furthermore, the society is filled with all kinds of information on the war, much of it is totally confusing. And it is difficult to distinguish between true and fake news. So, you should just take the following point of view of mine as the nonsense from an old man who is about to retire.
"First, it is generally believed that this conflict was caused by Ukraine's desire to be part of the NATO. It meant that Russia's geopolitical situation would undergo a major change, which Putin would certainly not tolerate. Ukraine did not budge, and a war followed inevitably.
"1. Judging the strength of Russia and Ukraine, Russia will achieve limited victory militarily and even occupy the capital of Ukraine. But it is impossible for Russia to take full control of the country.
"2. If Russia holds peace talks with the current regime in Ukraine, which promises not to join NATO, then Russia will withdraw its forces. And the two areas in the eastern part of Ukraine that have declared independence will only be able to maintain their status quo and become the vassal states under Russia's 'protection.'
"3. If Russia installs and supports a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine through military actions, Ukraine will then be plunged into a prolonged and protracted civil war. Both the current pro-Western regime and the new pro-Russian regime will not be able to defeat and take out each other quickly. This may be in the interests of some countries and political groups, but it is definitely a disastrous prospect for the Ukrainian people.
"Second, the invasion of a sovereign country carries huge political and military risks. No matter what the excuses are, in the current international environment in which national sovereignty and territorial integrity are still important, aggression is aggression. It is morally wrong period. The international community led by the United States will impose full political blockade and economic sanctions against Russia. But in consideration of Ukraine's current relationship with the West and of the fact that Russia is a nuclear superpower, Western countries will not get into any direct military confrontation with Russia. From the perspective of the interests of the West, particularly that of the United States, some hope that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will be prolonged, so as to reduce Russia completely to a second-rate country and to integrate and consolidate Europe's strategic power.
'[China] Cannot Openly Support The Invasion Of A Sovereign Country Either Morally Or Politically'
"Third, China is currently in an awkward position, struggling a bit. This is because:
"1. It cannot openly support the invasion of a sovereign country either morally or politically. Moreover, Ukraine is a friendly country.
"2. As far as international relations are concerned, China has aligned with Russia, standing shoulder to shoulder against the United States over the years. It determines that China does not oppose Russia and stand with the West. In fact, the neutral stance that China takes is acceptable to the international community.
"3. If the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is turned into a prolonged war, on one hand, the power of Russia will be weakened considerably while on the other hand, Western countries, especially the European countries, will be bogged down to face their real threats. Then China will have reduced pressures from other countries. But if Russia is defeated completely, China will have to face an increasingly more complicated and difficult international environment for a long time to come.
"4. With the situation of the war in Ukraine getting entangled and protracted, the opinions of the Chinese people will become more fractured and divided. From the perspective of humanitarianism, the anti-war stance will remain to be the mainstream. But a considerable number of people will discuss about the legitimacy of Russia's actions by citing the past aggressions of the United States."
 Weixin.qq.com/s/3yE0YVGMntd2rxUW7CJ60w, March 3, 2022.