Relations between the two countries have soured in the past months following disagreements over a number of issues, including a government crackdown in Hong Kong, allegations of spyware against Chinese-owned TikTok and participation by Chinese tech giant Huawei in the development of the UK’s 5G network.
British politicians are twisting facts to undermine ties with Beijing, the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom said in a statement in response to allegations that the country is pursuing an aggressive diplomatic policy.
“Some politicians and institutions deliberately twist and smear the normal exchange and cooperation between the two countries or even clamor for the so-called ‘new cold war’ against China”, an embassy spokesman said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website.
The spokesman’s statement came in response to an article in the Times newspaper, which said that Beijing had increased its diplomatic presence in the United Kingdom to boost China’s political influence. The spokesman noted that the number of diplomatic staff grew as relations between the two countries improved and their cooperation in various sectors increased.
“In these 10 years, trade between the two countries doubled; Chinese investment in the UK increased 20 times; Chinese students in the UK increased from 100,000 to 220,000; The UK became the largest recipient of Chinese students in Europe. The two countries also kept close communication regarding regional and international hot spots. This [staff increase] is the reflection of the booming relationship. It is reasonable and there is nothing wrong about it”, the embassy spokesman wrote.
Responding to an allegation that Chinese diplomas display the so-called “wolf warrior” diplomacy during the coronavirus pandemic (defined as an aggressive approach to international relations), the spokesman said that the country’s diplomats have a duty to tell “the real story, uphold justice, and refute the lies”.
“This righteous action of defending the honour and dignity of China and safeguarding the hard-won China-UK relationship brooks no slander”, the spokesman asserted.
Relations between London and Beijing soured in the past months after London – at he behest of the Trump administration in the US – made a U-turn and blocked Chinese telecom giant Huawei from participation in the development of UK’s 5G network. London and Beijing also recently had disagreements over Hong Kong and British officials made allegations against Chinese-owned app TikTok.