The politically unbiased Swedish think tank Frivärld urges the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the Chinese Ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou, for, at least, an apology for the threatening emails and ridiculing statements targeted at Swedish journalists and opinionators, SVT writes.
Frivärld recently published a rapport which examined the Chinese Embassy’s action in matters where China were being criticized.
According to the report, the Chinese embassy has changed its tactics. Previously the Embassy would have published its critique on its own site. Now the embassy has however changed its tactic to contacting critical voices themselves in warning emails.
One of the recipients of such an email is the Swedish journalist Jojje Olsson. He received an email that allegedly contained explicit threads.
“He was told that it would have consequences for him if he didn’t stop spreading what the embassy called lies,” the Administrative Director of the frivärld, Emanuel Örtengren, says.
According to the think tank’s rapport, the threats are part of a new global tactic from China to control the image of the Chinese state.
“The Chinese Communist party follows a tactic to try and mute opinionators, debaters, and journalists. They try to make us conduct more self-censoring and comply with Chinese interests,” Emanuel Örtengren says.
After the rapport from Frivärld was published, the Embassy of China in Sweden released a critical declaration on its website accusing the people behind the rapport of abusing the freedom of speech and for being self-obsessed.
“Without them, democracy, freedom, and human rights would stand better worldwide and people around the world would lead a better life!,” the Embassy writes.
Take a stand.
After more think tanks have joined in the cause to take a stand against the Chinese Embassy in Sweden the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde, now says she will oblige the think tanks and call the Chinese ambassador.
“To post demands or rebuke think tanks is not something we accept in Sweden, and it is something that we, unfortunately, have to point out to the Chinese Embassy repeatedly,” Ann Linde says.