A popular comment shared by many Chinese netizens sarcastically summed up the situation: “When Ukraine declared independence in 1991, the Ukrainians won a victory of democracy. When Leonid Kuchma won the 1994 presidential election, the Ukrainians won a victory of democracy…for the second time. When Yushchenko won the 2005 presidential election, the Ukrainians won a victory of democracy…for a third time. In 2010 when Yanukovych was elected president, the Ukrainians won yet another victory of democracy. Now in 2014, Ukraine is without a president, the Ukrainians are still winning a victory of democracy.”
China's official line on these and other events is that each country must take its own development path (or occasionally that each must seek democracy in its own way). That gives lots of scope for pointing out in the course of any specific incident, that, gosh, things seem to be terribly violent in that corner of laowai land, and it must be having a terrible effect on the economy and look at the Americans meddling away and perhaps conflicts are too endemic over there to allow too much freedom and its best to be cautious on general principles and ...so on and so on.
It's not so much that China is laying down the propaganda law on these events; more that its letting them play out publicly against a background of constant nagging, sighing and wheedling. Structure things that way and you can count on the inner Simon Jenkins emerging in your audience. And in fairness, though this might amount to a tendentious and self-serving narrative, it's also a viable one given the way events have unfolded over the past few years. It doesn't require flat out lying.