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Ambassador Gui Congyou Gives Exclusive Interview to Medierna
2019/11/30

On 26 November, Ambassador Gui Congyou gave an exclusive interview to Medierna at the Embassy.

Q: Last week, we published a story on the strategy of the Chinese Embassy criticizing Swedish media and journalists. Why does the Embassy do this?

Ambassador Gui: All the remarks by our Embassy on Swedish media are forced reactions, not started by us.

Since ancient times, China has been a country of “Li”, which means etiquette and politeness. The way Chinese people treat others can be well summarized by one sentence: we pour good wine for good friends. “Li” has always been the most important ethical principal for Chinese people. Woven in the development history of Chinese ethics, “Li” is also the core element of Chinese values. The internal spirit of “Li” is “Ren”, which means being kind. It is our most common evaluation standard of morality.

A basic principle of our foreign policy is to pursue friendship, equality, cooperation, and win-win benefits with other countries. We do not want to make enemies, nor do we interfere in the internal affairs or harm the interests of other countries. We do not pose a threat to other countries. Our Embassy’s mission is to communicate and make friends broadly with all sectors of Sweden including the media, and serve as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between our two countries and two peoples. Personally speaking, in my over 20 years of diplomatic career, I have always treated friends from the press that I talked to with nothing but respect and sincerity.

After coming to Sweden, I also hoped to talk with friends from Swedish media. But some people from Swedish media refused to meet or communicate with us, but only criticize and accuse China, or even viciously attack and smear China. More strangely, some of such journalists have never been to China. Some only go to Taiwan but call themselves “China experts”. Some are in Taiwan or Stockholm, but run blogs under the name “InBeijing”, which is hard to understand. We urge these people to really go to China and see with their own eyes, and base their accounts on what they see with their own eyes.

We welcome criticism. A good journalist needs to be good at discovering problems and pointing out what needs to be improved. But criticisms need to be factual, and no one should make fake news. Criticisms also need to be accountable, and they should not lead to social chaos or instigate hatred.

We never took the initiative to criticize Swedish media. We only criticize when it is beyond endurance, and when we are forced to react. Even with those that viciously attack China, we also welcome them to come for communication.

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