France was outraged after the Chinese ambassador published a post on the embassy’s website criticizing the western response to the coronavirus. In response, the French foreign ministry summoned the ambassador to complain:
The French foreign ministry said on Tuesday it had summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest a string of controversial comments by Beijing’s embassy in Paris on the coronavirus.
“I made clear my disapproval of certain recent comments when the ambassador … was summoned this morning,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a ministry statement, adding that the remarks were not in line with the “quality of the bilateral relationship” between France and China.
China’s embassy to France has been leading a high-profile public relations campaign in recent weeks to vaunt the country’s success in largely quelling the coronavirus while criticising the handling of the crisis by Western countries.
The post which created the diplomatic stir was titled “Turn the facts upside down again-A Chinese diplomat in the French Embassy observes the new pneumonia epidemic (Part 4).” In part, it accused western countries of letting the elderly starve to death in nursing homes:
We see that in Western countries, politicians attack each other for their votes; propose a “group immunization” strategy to allow ordinary people to resist the virus slaughter with their lives; grab each other’s epidemic prevention materials; and sell publicly purchased epidemic prevention materials Profit for private companies; let the elderly in the nursing home sign the “Consent of giving up first aid”; the nursing staff of the nursing home leave their duty unauthorizedly, and collectively flee, causing the elderly to starve to death in large numbers and die of illness; He was dismissed due to treatment … All of these, but there was no large amount of reports from mainstream Western media, in-depth investigations, and the truth was revealed. What is the conscience of these fair and objective media and experts? What is professional ethics?
Unfortunately, there has been at least one case in Spain where something like this has happened, though it’s hardly representative of the western response in general. Meanwhile, the same piece doesn’t mention any problem’s with China’s response, such as ordering early whistleblowers to be silent or having a foreign ministry spokesman claim the virus originated in the United States.
The piece that led to the ambassador being summoned was published Sunday. Today, possibly in response to being officially reprimanded this morning, the Chinese ambassador published a new piece which emphasized how China and France have worked together.
While the Chinese government and people are fighting against the epidemic, all sectors of France have expressed their solidarity. For example, the French Consul General in Wuhan Gui Yonghua spent 76 days with Wuhan citizens in the closure of the city; more than 300 celebrities in the arts and arts published an open letter; 40 musical actors sang the song “With You”; The team put on the competition clothes printed with “China Come on” and so on.
There are several more paragraphs like this but eventually the Chinese ambassador comes to his complaints [emphasis added]:
Regrettably, individual countries attempt to politicize the epidemic, label the virus, and stigmatize China. This must be resolutely resisted and opposed…
In the fight against the epidemic, the French government, business community and the general public are generally friendly to China. The three words I heard the most are “support”, “confidence” and “cooperation”. However, certain French media, journalists and so-called “Chinese experts” have occasionally produced some dissonant voices. The Chinese ambassador to France should resolutely fight back against these noises in a timely manner, and restore the truth. Only in this way can prejudice and lies be avoided, can the French people understand the real China, and make the foundation of Sino-French relations stronger and more stable.