Apology urged for insulting Chinese

Updated: 2014-01-10 00:51


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Beijing has asked a Spanish television station that insulted Chinese people to correct its wrongs and prevent similar mistakes from happening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

Telecinco, a Spanish station also known as Tele 5, broadcast a show named Mesa para Dos, meaning "Table for Two", during its New Year Gala.

A clown on the show, wearing an exaggerated costume of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) with a long pigtail hat, played a waiter in a Chinese restaurant serving Spanish customers.

The customers shouted "Este Chino es gilipolla", meaning "This Chinese is stupid", twice during the show.

"There are more than 180,000 Chinese living in Spain who contribute significantly to local communities. I regret what happened," said ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a daily news conference in Beijing.

Spain is China's good friend and partner in the European Union, and the two countries benefit from bilateral cooperation, which has been deepening over the years, Hua said.

"The TV station should correct its wrongs and take measures to ease the negative influence," she added.

The Chinese embassy to Spain published on Wednesday a letter from China's charge d'affaires Huang Yazhong to the channel's chairman and executive director, expressing strong dissatisfaction and stern condemnation of the program.

"Such actions cannot be played down as an 'improper joke'," Huang said in the letter.

The channel's host, Aida Nizar, said on her program in May that Chinese restaurants had used human corpses and meat from cats to make dishes. The local Chinese community and the embassy strongly objected to the program, which was then deleted from the channel's website.

"If the image of overseas Chinese in Spain is damaged in this way, the image of Spain in China will also be hurt. One cannot be respected if he or she does not respect others," Huang said.

Contact the writer at zhaoyanrong@chinadaily.com.cn and zhangfan1@chinadaily.com.cn

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