A state-run Chinese newspaper has taken the British media to task, saying that the local media was full of "people with the manners of barbarians" after they widely reported on Queen Elizabeth's rare diplomatic gaffe, in which she called some Chinese officials very rude. The Global Times newspaper said UK media could benefit from a lesson in manners from China's ancient civilisation.
The newspaper, which is close to China's ruling Communist Party, blamed the British media for "blowing the incident out of proportion". It said the media in the UK had "fawned" over the footage of the Queen speaking as if it was "the most precious treasure."
"The West in modern times has risen to the top and created a brilliant civilisation, but their media is full of reckless 'gossip fiends' who bare their fangs and brandish their claws and are very narcissistic, retaining the bad manners of barbarians," the paper said in its editorial.
"As they experience constant exposure to the 5,000 years of continuous Eastern civilisation, we believe they will make progress", when it come to manners, the article said. The editorial was published in the Chinese edition but not the English language version.
Queen Elizabeth was caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace garden party making comments about a much-publicised state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK. She was speaking to senior police officer Lucy D'Orsi who is introduced as being in charge of security during Xi's visit in October last year. The Queen's remarks made the headlines worldwide on Wednesday (11 May). The BBC, however, said that the news was initially censored in China.
Global Times blamed an apparent lack of control in Britain to stop 'private' comments becoming public. "It is not surprising that there are off-the-record complaints. Chinese diplomats must have mocked British officials privately."
However, it pointed out that Chinese diplomats were discreet and that in many Western countries, it is difficult for the media to get hold of officials' private conversations. "But among the Western countries, Britain is one of those that gets caught with its pants down and exposes itself most often."
The newspaper also seemed to shrug off the Queen's comments as "not a big deal," the South China Morning Post reported. However, it said that it would be unthinkable for the British authorities to have deliberately leaked the royal footage as "if they had deliberately done so, that would have been truly crude and rude."
Global Times added that the golden era of relations between China and the UK would not be affected by the Queen's comments, saying: "The Sino-UK relationship will not be influenced by this. The Golden Era is based on profound interests."
The Chinese foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, when asked to comment on the Queen's comment, would only said that Xi's trip to the UK was "a great success, thanks to the "enormous efforts made by the teams of the two sides."
"Both China and the UK agree on that. The two sides have made arduous efforts to ensure its success. China and the UK also agree on that," he said.
Social media questions rude Chinese officials tag
A social media user noted: "The Queen should know what rudeness is. Her husband [Prince Philip] insulted the whole Chinese nation when he made the 'slitty eye' remark to a British student when they were visiting China."
Another user asked: "So its OK for the Queen's husband to be rude and insult Chinese poeple saying they have chinky eyes? But its not ok for China men to be rude to a UK ambassador? Why?"