China · Information operations · Sweden

China And Sweden At Odds Over SVT ‘Humor’


screen-shot-2018-09-26-at-11-56-00Sweden and China are having words over a Swedish humor channel’s racist videos.

It does not look likely this little scandal will escalate but it also does not look likely that it will go away.

Here is one of the insulting videos that China is protesting.

I watched the whole thing. Racist, yes. Funny, heck yes. Should China be offended?  Oh, yes. Should SVT tone down the racist remarks?  Hell yes.

Xinhua’s headline: Chinese embassy criticizes Swedish Television SVT for insulting China in China Daily.

“On Friday evening, “the SVT broadcast a Swedish news program which outrageously insulted China. The program leader Jesper Ronndahl made comments that amount to a gross insult to and a vicious attack on China and the Chinese people. We strongly condemn it, and have lodged a strong protest to SVT,” the Chinese embassy said through its spokesperson on Saturday.”

This skit was preceded by a somewhat bizarre series of bad diplomatic events.  First, a Swedish citizen, Gui Minhai, who was seized by Chinese authorities in front of two Swedish diplomats.  He had previously vanished in 2015 and turned up later, detained in China.

On September 9th, China was accused of interfering in the Swedish election.

Then, the Dalai Lama visited Sweden. The Dalai Lama isn’t exactly loved by the Chinese government.

SVT deliberately subtitled their normally Swedish-only videos into English, which really looks like a deliberate attempt to pour salt into an open wound.

Admittedly China did not see the humor in the video, which is disheartening. The video pokes more fun at Swedish attitudes, using deliberate slams at Chinese behavior and stereotypes.

This issue is mainstream, now, written up in both the New York Times and CNN.

Even Sputnik News noticed.

Stay tuned.  My guess is SVT will apologize over its distasteful video.

In the meantime, watch it, laugh, but make sure you don’t laugh too loud. We wouldn’t want you to appear racist by finding too much humor in this…

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