Beijing has summoned the British ambassador to China, Caroline Wilson, over an article she penned about the Chinese government’s alleged misrepresentation of the international media, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
China has “stern” opinions about the “inappropriate” article, the statement from the head of the ministry’s Europe department said, adding that it only opposes media outlets dealing in “fake news.”
“The whole article is full of ‘lecturer’ arrogance and ideological prejudice … and is seriously inconsistent with the status of diplomats,” it added.
Wilson responded to the pushback in a tweet, saying “I stand by my article,” and posted a link to the piece via Twitter on Tuesday.
I stand by my article. No doubt the outgoing Chinese Ambassador to the UK stands by the 170+ pieces he was free to place in mainstream British media. https://t.co/AgkynfJM36
— Caroline Wilson (@CWilson_FCDO) March 9, 2021
The article was initially published on the British embassy in Beijing’s official WeChat account last week.
Her article, titled “Do foreign media hate China?” and written in Mandarin, attempts to explain why the media’s criticism of the Chinese authorities was actually done in “good faith” and doesn’t mean they don’t like China.
Wilson tried to make her points with examples of the work done by UK mainstream media outlets, such as a Daily Telegraph expose of MPs’ expenses and the questioning style adopted by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman.
At the time of writing, Wilson’s article was still on WeChat, although the social platform said it cannot be shared by users because it violates its rules.
Media has become a major battleground between London and Beijing in recent months after the UK media watchdog Ofcom last month banned Chinese state broadcaster CGTN from being shown in Britain.
Ofcom made its move over claims that CGTN falls within the remit of the Chinese Communist Party, and this week also slapped the broadcaster with a £225,000 (about $313,000) fine over its allegedly biased coverage of political events in Hong Kong.
Beijing matched CGTN’s initial ban last month by axing BBC World News from television networks in China after claiming the corporation had undermined national unity in its reporting of alleged human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province.
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