onsdag 15. april 2020

France summons Chinese envoy after coronavirus 'slur'

The French foreign office on Tuesday summoned the Chinese ambassador, Lu Shaye, to express its deep disapproval about Chinese diplomats’ claims that France had left its older citizens to die. The allegation, and similar attacks, are linked to Chinese “wolf warriors” on social media. The new, assertive brand of diplomacy is favoured not only by younger diplomats but also by the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs. Wolf Warrior is a 2015 action film popular in China.

The controversy follows a series of acerbic anonymous posts on the Paris embassy’s website, ascribed to a Chinese diplomat, culminating in an article saying: “Residents of retirement homes were made to sign certificates of ‘waiver of emergency care’; the nursing staff of the Ehpad abandoned their posts overnight, deserted collectively, leaving their residents to die of hunger and disease.”

The use of the French acronym Ehpad (Établissement d’hébergement pour personnes âgées dépendantes) left no doubt China was referring to France. But the French press say the Chinese claim may refer to an article, directed at Spain, in the Ouest-France newspaper.