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China calls Swedish show racist for warning tourists not to eat dogs

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sweden Svenska Nyheter informational show
A
part of Svenska Nyheter’s show, which warned Chinese tourists not
to defecate in public.

SVT
Humor/YouTube


  • A Swedish satirical TV show last week appeared to mock
    Chinese tourists, warning them not to mistake dogs for food, or
    to defecate in public.
  • The Chinese Embassy in Sweden and China’s Foreign
    Ministry accused the show of racism and demanded an
    apology.
  • The show’s broadcaster has since apologized. The host tweeted
    that he “started a diplomatic crisis with a superpower.”
  • The show came after a family of Chinese tourists
    Swedish authorities of brutality after they were removed from a
    hostel which wouldn’t let them spend the night in their
    lobby.
  • Diplomatic relations between Beijing and Stockholm
    appear to be at a standstill as the Dalai Lama visited Sweden
    last week, and China continues to hold a Swedish citizen in
    custody.

Beijing has accused a Swedish satirical TV show of racism after
it appeared to mock Chinese tourists and warned them not to
mistake dogs for food.

“Svenska Nyheter,” a weekly program on Swedish national
broadcaster SVT, appeared to endorse racism against Chinese
people and played on certain stereotypes against the nation in a
show aired last Friday.

Jesper Rönndahl, the show’s host, said: “Swedes hate racism — as
long as we’re not talking about the Chinese, and the
Russians, of course. No politically correct campaign in the world
can eliminate the Swedes’ hatred for the Russians. And that is
probably because most of Russia is in Asia. They are almost
Chinese.”

The show also aired a joke informational program aimed at Chinese
tourists, in which a Swedish woman issued the following
“warnings”:

  • “We do not poop outside historical buildings.”
  • “And if you see someone who’s out walking a dog, it’s not
    because they just bought lunch.”
  • “Chinese are very welcome to the Kingdom of Sweden. But if
    you can’t behave, we’ll kick the s–t out of you.”

Watch the segment with English subtitles below:

The fallout

China has since accused SVT and Rönndahl of racism, and
demanded an apology from the network.

The Chinese Embassy in Sweden said in a
Saturday statement
that SVT and Rönndahl “spread and
advocate racism and xenophobia outright, and openly provoke and
instigate racial hatred and confrontation targeting at China and
some other ethnic groups.”

It added: “The program breaks the basic moral principles of
mankind, and gravely challenges human conscience and is a serious
violation of media professional ethics.”

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry,
said in a Monday statement
that the program “amounts to a
gross insult to and vicious attack on China and the Chinese
people.”


Xi Jinping
Chinese
President Xi Jinping.

REUTERS/Fred
Dufour/Pool


Chinese state media also piled on the attacks, with the state-run
People’s Daily newspaper
saying on social media
: “Those insulting China must pay the
price.”

SVT has since apologized for the program,
telling the Hong Kong Free Press
 that the program “was a
mistake, as the entirety of our message and ambition was then
lost.”

“We recognise that this may have been an insult, for which we are
truly sorry,” the Swedish program said.

Jesper Rönndahl, the show’s host, tweeted
that he had “started a diplomatic crisis with a superpower” after
the Chinese embassy’s remarks.


sweden Svenska Nyheter jesper ronndahl
Svenska
Nyheter host Jesper Rönndahl mocked Chinese tourists in his
show.

SVT
Humor/YouTube


Friday’s show addressed another recent source of
contention between China and Sweden, which involved
Beijing accusing Swedish police of having “brutally abused” a
family of Chinese tourists by forcibly ejecting them from a
Stockholm hostel
.

The family, surnamed Zeng, reportedly arrived about 14 hours
before their booking and refused to leave the hotel’s lobby
until police carried them out of the building.

Video
footage
showed the family crying on the streets and accusing
the hostel of “killing” them.

The incident reportedly took place on September 2, but news
reports only emerged last Monday.

The Chinese Embassy in Sweden demanded
a public investigation
into the case, which
Sweden decided not to do
. The Chinese foreign ministry also
issued a safety alert to all Chinese tourists traveling to
Sweden.


sweden china tourist
A
Chinese tourist, surnamed Zeng, accusing a Stockholm hostel of
“killing” after it refused to let her and her family stay in the
lobby after they arrived more than 12 hours early for their
booking.

CGTN/YouTube

China’s offensive against Sweden

Beijing’s diplomatic spat with Stockholm came after the Dalai
Lama, Buddhist spiritual leader exiled from China,
visited the Scandinavian country earlier this month
.

China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist and has long sought
to limit his influence around the world.

Beijing also
continues to hold in its custody
Gui Minhai, a
Chinese-born Swedish citizen who sold books critical of China’s
leadership in Hong Kong.

Gui vanished from his holiday home in Thailand in late 2015, was
released in 2017, but was arrested again while traveling to
Beijing this January.

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