China’s insults, sanctions ‘unacceptable’: France

By Shweta Desai

PARIS (AA) – France’s Foreign Ministry denounced China on Monday over insults and threats made by its embassy aimed at French lawmakers and an independent researcher as well as its decision to impose sanctions on European parliamentarians, calling the moves “unacceptable.”

A statement issued by the ministry said insults against independent researchers and elected representatives are “inadmissible.”

“It is not by attacking academic freedom, freedom of expression and fundamental democratic freedoms that China will respond to the legitimate concerns of the European Union,” the statement said.

It also urged the embassy to strictly comply with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations with regard to public communication.

China’s ambassador Lu Shaye will be summoned to the ministry and informed about this message, it added.

The Chinese Embassy in France said on Twitter that Shaye will visit the Foreign Ministry to make representations on the sanctions and on issues related to Taiwan.

On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry blacklisted 10 European Parliament members including Raphael Glucksmann of France after the European Union announced sanctions against Chinese officials over widespread abuses against the Uyghur minority in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region.

Last week, the Chinese embassy, using its official Twitter account, attacked Antoine Bondaz, an expert at the Foundation for Strategic Research who also heads the think-tank’s “Taiwan on Security and Diplomacy” program, calling him a “petite frappe” or "little thug." It also sent threatening letters to French senators warning them against undertaking a planned trip to Taiwan as part of a France-Taiwan study group.

It further issued a long press statement on “a democratic discussion on freedom of expression” justifying its online war of words against the researcher and terming him a “mad hyena and a villain.”