Sweden anger at Beijing envoy's 'lightweight' jibe

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 20 Jan 2020

Sweden has summoned Chinese ambassador Gui Congyou for a discussion tomorrow, regarding his comments that compared Swedish media coverage of China to a lightweight boxer who "provokes a feud" with a heavyweight.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde on Saturday called the statement an "unacceptable threat."

In his remarks, Gui said he believes Swedish journalists have interfered in China's internal affairs with their reporting.

"It's like a 48-kilogram lightweight boxer who provokes a feud with an 86-kilogram heavyweight boxer, who out of kindness and goodwill urges the [smaller] boxer to take care of himself," Gui said.

Linde said she interpreted the comments as an attempt to muzzle the media in the nation - an internationally-recognized strong human rights advocate - that prizes freedom of speech.

Tensions between Beijing and Stockholm have been strained since 2015, when dissident Gui Minhai, a China-born Swedish citizen known for publishing candid books about Chinese leaders, vanished in Thailand and resurfaced in the mainland.

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