Em­bassy protests Swedish TV show

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - By WANG QINGYUN wangqingyun@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Chi­nese em­bassy in Swe­den lodged a strong protest against a Swedish broad­cast­ing com­pany over a TV show that in­cluded what it said were “out­ra­geously” in­sult­ing re­marks about China and the Chi­nese peo­ple. It urged the com­pany and the show to apol­o­gize im­me­di­ately.

On Fri­day evening, “the SVT broad­cast a Swedish news pro­gram that out­ra­geously in­sulted China”, the em­bassy said in a state­ment on Satur­day. “The pro­gram leader Jes­per Ron­ndahl made com­ments that amount to a gross in­sult to and vi­cious at­tack on China and the Chi­nese peo­ple.”

“The SVT pro­gram and Jes­per Ron­ndahl spread and ad­vo­cate racism and xeno­pho­bia out­right, and openly pro­voke and in­sti­gate racial ha­tred and con­fronta­tion tar­get­ing at China and some other eth­nic groups,” the state­ment said.

It added: “The pro­gram also re­ferred to a wrong map of China where China’s Tai­wan prov­ince and some part of the Ti­bet re­gion were miss­ing, which se­verely in­fringes on China’s sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity.”

Peo­ple in charge of the show re­sponded that the show was de­signed for en­ter­tain­ment, but the Chi­nese em­bassy finds the no­tion “to­tally un­ac­cept­able”, the em­bassy said.

“We urge SVT and the pro­gram to im­me­di­ately give an apol­ogy. We re­serve the rights to take fur­ther ac­tion,” the em­bassy said.

The in­ci­dent fol­lowed a Sept 17 in­ter­view with Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to Swe­den Gui Congyou by a Swedish me­dia out­let in which Gui called for “some forces, me­dia and peo­ple” in Swe­den to drop their “sense of su­pe­ri­or­ity” to­ward China.

“They put them­selves in a po­si­tion to lec­ture oth­ers and are full of ar­ro­gance, prej­u­dice, stereo­type and ig­no­rance against China,” Gui said, adding that China-Swe­den ties can only de­velop on the ba­sis of treat­ing each other equally and with re­spect.

On Sun­day, the em­bassy and the con­sular af­fairs depart­ment of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs is­sued an alert call­ing for Chi­nese cit­i­zens to en­hance their vig­i­lance while stay­ing in Swe­den, as “se­cu­rity in­ci­dents in­volv­ing Chi­nese tourists in Swe­den have been ris­ing re­cently”.

Cui Hongjian, direc­tor of the Depart­ment for Euro­pean Stud­ies at the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said he be­lieves that in­stead of rep­re­sent­ing the opin­ion of the Swedish peo­ple as a whole, the SVT show is more likely pan­der­ing to cer­tain rad­i­cal sen­ti­ments that are “gain­ing ground in Swe­den”.

He sug­gested that China and Swe­den co­op­er­ate on en­cour­ag­ing more ra­tio­nal, rea­son­able opin­ions about bi­lat­eral ties.

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