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Chinese Internet Users Are Overwhelmingly Against Taking In Refugees

Many Chinese internet users are opposed to the idea that China should play a larger role in helping solve the refugee crisis.

Posted on September 9, 2015, at 5:40 a.m. ET

While much of Europe is overwhelmed by the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, Chinese web users are debating whether China should also take in refugees.

Attila Kisbenedek / AFP / Getty Images

Many users who have asked on social media and internet forums whether China should play a larger role in helping solve the refugee crisis have been criticized.

Here is how one Sina Weibo user responded to a question about whether the country should be taking in refugees: "You must be using Chinese internet users to force the government to take more refugees to impede China!"

The comment received 436 "likes."
weibo.com

The comment received 436 "likes."

Some Chinese users say that China isn't in a better position to help others. Zhang Bin, a story writer, wrote on Weibo: "Those [countries] who are capable of saving refugees should act first, China should solve its own poverty first."

Zhang has over 8,000 followers on Weibo.
weibo.com

Zhang has over 8,000 followers on Weibo.

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Others argued that many refugees don't want to come to China. "It's not that China doesn't want to take them, but that they won't come," a user commented. "They want to go to developed western countries and China is not the option."

Among those who favored taking in refugees, some suggested that China should do it for moral reasons. "It's worthwhile to pay a price to manifest the image of a responsible great country," a user wrote on China's popular website Tianya BBS.

"Among the accepted refugees, choose the talents and educate them, they will become the ambassador of Chinese interests in the future when they return home."The user gave historical examples to argue how taking in refugees has proved beneficial in the past. "In the history, China accepted Jewish refugees, and now China have the special bond with Israel; the U.S. took a massive amount of European refugees, and harvested many talents after WWII."
bbs.tianya.cn

"Among the accepted refugees, choose the talents and educate them, they will become the ambassador of Chinese interests in the future when they return home."

The user gave historical examples to argue how taking in refugees has proved beneficial in the past. "In the history, China accepted Jewish refugees, and now China have the special bond with Israel; the U.S. took a massive amount of European refugees, and harvested many talents after WWII."

One particular opinion that dominated the online commentary blamed the countries that started the wars. "The countries who created and assisted the wars are obliged to take [refugees]," wrote a user. "Look at Americans, as if it's none of their business."

He continued, "Americans stay aside and laugh about it."
Weibo.com

He continued, "Americans stay aside and laugh about it."

One of the few media outlets which posed the question, like Hong Kong based Phoenix News, was attacked in the comments section. Many users called it "Pheasant News" as a way to insult it for setting China up.

China's rising patriotism and nationalism have been further intensified after the nation live-broadcasted a grand military parade last week, which was said to honor the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
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