China demands Ukraine explain ‘low intellectual potential’ slur
Beijing has demanded clarification from Kiev after Mikhail Podoliak, the top aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, suggested that authorities in China and India weren’t smart enough to figure out what the actual national interests of their countries were.
Podoliak characterized the two Asian powerhouses as having “low intellectual potential,” in an interview with channel Vlast vs Vaschenko published Tuesday on YouTube. Speaking about the increasing cooperation of Beijing and New Delhi with Moscow amid the conflict in Ukraine, he claimed that China and India “don’t analyze the consequences of the steps they make.”
The aide accused China, India and also Türkiye of “earning money” on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. The Chinese authorities believe that doing so is in their country’s national interests, but Beijing is better off distancing itself from Russia as it’s “an archaic nation that drags China into unnecessary conflicts,” he said.
When asked to comment on the statements by Podoliak during a briefing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said: “I don’t know the background of this person’s remarks, but he should clarify them.”
Mao reminded reporters that Beijing has always maintained a “responsible” stance towards the conflict in Ukraine, constantly calling for a cessation of hostilities and a political settlement to the crisis.
Later on Wednesday Podoliak took to X (formerly Twitter) to explain what he meant by questioning China’s and India’s intellectual abilities. He claimed that his comments were taken out of context by the Russian media.
According to Podoliak, China, India and Türkiye are “clearly justified” in claiming important roles on the international stage, but “the global world is much broader than even the most thoughtful regional national interests.”
Moscow, with which Ankara, New Delhi and Beijing maintain ties, is “demonstratively trying to undermine the foundations of the global world,” he explained.
Podoliak isn’t the first high-ranking Ukrainian official to make derogatory remarks about Asian countries. In August, Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, suggested that Asian people were less humane compared to Europeans, including Ukrainians. “I’m fine with Asians, but Russians are Asians. They have a completely different culture, vision. Our key difference from them is humanity,” Danilov said.