The Divisive Past and the Conflicted Other: How Chinese Netizens View Russia

Yi Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines how Chinese netizens view Russia and how contested memories shape perceptions. It identifies and categorizes four different perceptions of Russia, held by pro-Russian groups, pro-Soviet groups, anti-Russian nationalists, and liberals on China’s social media, who have divergent interpretations of the past. This study contributes a distinct case to the literature on Chinese collective memory and facilitates an understanding of Sino-Russian relations at the social level. Theoretically, it enriches the interdisciplinary dialogue between memory studies and International Relations by highlighting the complexity of historical narratives and the instability between the past and the present. It finds that when a collective memory involves multiple significant but symbolically and ideologically competing historical events, it can become a divisive force that creates confusion in the self-other relationship and motivates different social groups to resist and revise official narratives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Early online date28 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Chinese foreign policy
  • collective memory
  • historical narrative
  • perception
  • Sino-Russian relations
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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