China summons UK's ambassador over article on press freedom

·2-min read

Beijing [China], March 13 (ANI): Beijing has summoned Britain's ambassador to China Caroline Wilson over an article on press freedom, escalating a bitter row between the two countries that has spilled over to the media industry.

On Tuesday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke to Ambassador Caroline Wilson and lodged a formal complaint with her against a post she published last week on WeChat, the popular Chinese social media network.

In the piece, Wilson argued that "foreign media in China are being misrepresented, which obscures their positive role" says the CNN report.

According to the CNN report "Foreign media criticism of the Chinese authorities does not mean that they dislike China," she wrote. "On the contrary, I believe they act in good faith and play an active role as watchdogs of government actions, ensuring that people have access to accurate information and protecting those who do not have a voice."

Agitation between the two countries, UK and China has been growing in recent months over a series of issues, including the political future of Hong Kong and human rights in Xinjiang. The disputes have caused remuneration in businesses, including Chinese tech firm Huawei and British bank HSBC. Prominent media outlets have been banned from each country of their respective countries.

"Unlike foreign media, Chinese media can only report critically under the conditions allowed by the government," she wrote.

The article angered Chinese officials, who called Wilson's post "inappropriate."

In a statement on Tuesday, the head of the department of European affairs at China's foreign ministry said that Wilson was "complaining [on behalf of] individual foreign media outlets sanctioned for false news and inaccurate reports, deliberately confusing news defamation with news monitoring, and being 'selectively blind' to the foreign side's crackdown on Chinese media."

In the Statement, the Chinese official "stressed that the Chinese government and people never oppose foreign media, but those who produce fake news and viciously attack China, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese system under the banner of 'freedom of the press and 'freedom of expression,'" according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement given to CNN. (ANI)