Embassy protests Swedish TV show
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.