Survey shows 95% support French reporter’s expulsion

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2015-12-28 0:08:01

China will never tolerate the ‘freedom’ to speak for terrorism: FM

Some 95 percent of people polled online supported the Chinese foreign ministry's decision to expel a French journalist for her comments on terrorism, a survey has shown.

The poll conducted by, a website affiliated with the Global Times Chinese edition, shows that as of 7 pm on Sunday, 198,210 votes were cast in favor of the decision to expel Ursula Gauthier, or 94.5 percent of the total. 11,607 voted against it.

China's foreign ministry on Saturday confirmed that China has refused to renew the press credentials of Gauthier.

Spokesman Lu Kang said Gauthier had offended the Chinese people with an article published on November 18 in which she overtly voiced support for terrorist activities.

In the article, she blamed the government policy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for terrorist attacks.

Gauthier is a Beijing-based correspondent for French news magazine L'Obs.

Lu said Gauthier failed to apologize to the Chinese people for her wrong words and that it is no longer suitable for her to work in China.

China ensures the legal rights of foreign media organizations and journalists covering China stories, but will never tolerate the "freedom" to speak for terrorism, said the spokesman.

Gauthier needs to leave China by December 31. In her story, she suggested China was using the Paris attacks to justify its "crackdown" on the ethnic minority Uyghur group.

"It's clear that the West has adopted a double standard on terrorism … Imagine how the French public would react if someone calls the Paris attack an inevitable result of its policy on Muslim immigrants," Li Wei, an anti-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

France bans anyone from covering their face in public, which extends to full-face or full-body veils worn by Muslim women.

"I think the issue is rooted in the differences in ideology between China and the West … The double standard from the West has for a long time impeded global cooperation on counterterrorism," Li noted.

Zhu Yongbiao, assistant director of the Institute of Central Asia Studies at Lanzhou University, told the Global Times on Sunday that the poll results, which show a 95 percent support for the foreign ministry, is a sign that the French reporter's article has crossed a moral baseline. "In the face of terror attacks, comments [from media] should not be influenced by politics or a reporter's opinion on a certain administration or political party," Zhu said.

Xinhua contributed to this story

Posted in: Diplomacy

blog comments powered by Disqus