An article shared by Britain's envoy to Beijing Caroline Wilson on WeChat has stoked controversy between both nations. (REUTERS)
An article shared by Britain's envoy to Beijing Caroline Wilson on WeChat has stoked controversy between both nations. (REUTERS)

China summons British envoy over article defending media coverage

Caroline Wilson's article defending recent international media coverage on China was posted on the WeChat account of the British embassy in Beijing.
Reuters | , Beijing
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 08:01 PM IST

China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday it had summoned Britain's ambassador to Beijing to lodge stern representations over an "inappropriate" article she wrote defending recent international media coverage on China.

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.

In it, she sought to explain why foreign media criticism of the Chinese government did not mean the journalists responsible did not like China but were in fact acting in "good faith" and playing an active role in monitoring government action.

In a statement on its move to summon Wilson, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Chinese government and people had never opposed foreign media, rather those who make up "fake news" to attack China and its ruling Communist Party under the banners of press freedom and freedom of speech.

"The whole article is full of 'lecturer' arrogance and ideological prejudice ... and is seriously inconsistent with the status of diplomats," it added in remarks attributed to the head of the ministry's Europe department.

Wilson's article was still accessible on WeChat on Tuesday, although the platform says it cannot be shared because it had violated rules.

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