The Chinese Embassy calls him 'little rascal', is that wrong?
Published: Mar 22, 2021 01:10 AM
Photo: VCG

Lu Shaye, Chinese Ambassador to France Photo: VCG

In the last two days, French media outlets and members of parliament launched a fierce attack against the Chinese Embassy in France and the Chinese Ambassador, Lu Shaye.

The whole incident was started by French Senator Alain Richard, who is planning to visit the island of Taiwan in summer, which was strongly opposed by the Chinese Embassy. The spokesperson of the French foreign ministry said they won't interfere in Richard's activities. French researcher Antoine Bondaz, lauding the decision, tweeted to the Chinese Embassy : "Un gros, gros bisous à vous ainsi qu'à vos trolls," which means "A big, big kiss to you and your trolls." The Chinese Embassy then responded in French in its official twitter, saying "petite frappe," meaning "little rascal".

French media and a few members of parliament made an issue of this post, attacking the Chinese Embassy and the ambassador for speaking rudely, engaging in wolf diplomacy and insulting French scholar. 

But is "Un gros, gros bisous à vous ainsi qu'à vos trolls" scholarly language? Since when has French academia degraded to this level? Isn't it accurate to use "little rascal" to jeer Bondaz? 

Bondaz's research focuses mainly on China and the Korean Peninsula. He likes to seek recognition on the internet. He has been riding on the wave of China-related affairs for some time now. When he saw the Chinese embassy refuting him, he must have been excited. He is raising his "value" in the public opinion field by doing so.

If a French parliamentary delegation visits Taiwan, it would definitely damage China-France relations. Over the years, although French public opinion has made quite a few groundless accusations against China, we have at least seen that France has avoided making mistakes it once made over the Taiwan question. It exercised self-control by sticking to the one-China principle. France is not the Czech Republic, and the Chinese have high expectations toward France to play its cards in accordance with major power rules.

At the same time, we also regard the French Parliament as part of the French official system. We respect the influence of French parliamentarians and do not confuse them with ordinary public opinion leaders in French society. Anyone with official status has a different responsibility from that of common citizens. If parliamentarians can act at will to violate France's official foreign policy and harm China's interests, they will change Chinese people's understanding of "French parliamentary powers strictly enumerated by the Constitution" and the parliament's influence. 

In the current turbulent world, China and France have generally maintained sound relations and thus realized win-win outcomes. But we know that some radicals in France want to steal the spotlight by acting in line with US extreme policies to draw a wedge with China.

They claim the forces who interfere in China's domestic affairs and support secessionists are promoting what they call political freedom and freedom of speech. Meanwhile, they defame China's opposition against such moves as coercion and violation of freedom. This is not only a double standard, it is a typical move by "a political rascal". In China, a country where people believe they should never ask others to do something they don't want, it is believed that anyone who has read Bondaz's remarks will regard him as an "academic rascal."

After facing so much nonsense, the Chinese Embassy responded in French on Twitter with "petite frappe," which means "little rascal", and then has been hit by more slanders and attacks. China's policies have been constant. It is France's extreme forces that are crossing the line by planning a visit of senators to the island of Taiwan while simultaneously blaming the Chinese Embassy in France for voicing opposition. How does the arrogance come from? Do those radical forces still think we live in the same world as 100 years ago?

They should have more self-esteem and avoid humiliating the French civilization that the Chinese people have long admired and respected.

The author is a commentator of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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