Britain’s ambassador to China has been summoned by Beijing authorities to criticize her for an “inappropriate” article she wrote defending recent international media coverage of the country, the Foreign Ministry said.
Caroline Wilson’s article in Chinese was posted on the official WeChat account of the British embassy in Beijing last week, amid already tense relations between Britain and China on issues such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the media.
Wilson tried to explain why the foreign media’s criticism of the Chinese government did not mean that the responsible journalists disliked China, but that they actually acted in “good faith” and played an active role in monitoring the government’s action. .
In a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the Chinese government and people had never opposed foreign media, but rather those who fabricate “fake news” to attack China and its ruling Communist Party under the banners of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. China would present “tough representations” to Wilson, he said.
“The whole article is full of ‘lecturer’ arrogance and ideological prejudice … and is seriously inconsistent with the status of diplomats,” he added in remarks attributed to the head of the ministry’s Europe department.
The UK Foreign Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wilson, whose article was still accessible on WeChat on Tuesday but could not be shared on the platform, responded on Twitter, including a link to his article.
“I agree with my article. Without a doubt, the outgoing Chinese ambassador to the UK stands behind the more than 170 pieces that he was free to put in the mainstream British media, ”he tweeted, referring to Liu Xiaoming, who was in Britain for about 11 years prior to leave the country in January.
The media has become an area of tension in Sino-British ties.
Last month, Beijing banned BBC World News from television networks in mainland China after discovering that it had “seriously violated” the rules and undermined national unity. That came a week after Britain’s media regulator Ofcom banned Chinese state broadcaster CGTN from broadcasting in the UK after it concluded that the Communist Party of China had ultimate editorial responsibility for the channel.
The BBC has published a series of reports alleging human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, which Beijing denies.
Tensions with London also erupted over an offer of a path to British citizenship for residents of the former British colony of Hong Kong following the imposition of a national security law that cracks down on dissent.
India’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it had summoned the UK high commissioner for what it called an “unjustified and biased discussion” of Indian agricultural reforms in parliament.
An argument among UK lawmakers on Monday sparked outrage in New Delhi, which accuses MPs of interfering in India’s internal affairs.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told Alexander Ellis, who was appointed envoy earlier this year, that the debate “represented a great interference in the politics of another democratic country.” according to a statement from the ministry.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism