Recently, the Swedish newspaper, Expressen, published an article, "Så straffas svenska Journalister av Kina", and accused China of being "dark" and "suppressing freedom of press". The content of the article is seriously inconsistent with facts and full of bias and lies, which is totally unacceptable. The Embassy has sent a letter to Expressen on 2 July to express firm opposition, and present China's position as follows:
The so called Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) mentioned in the article is an unregistered illegal organization and lacks all legitimacy. It can by no means represent all the foreign journalists stationed in China, and the reports it released are totally unreliable.
As China enters a new era, it will not close its door to the world but only become more and more open. The number of foreign media outlets and foreign journalists stationed in China continues to increase. The Chinese government and society have provided more and more assistance to foreign journalists reporting in China. The environment for foreign journalists to work and live in China has become increasingly more convenient, and information covered by their reporting increasingly wider. Foreign journalists enjoy great freedom in interviewing in China. We welcome foreign reporters to pay attention to and report on China and present a real, multi-dimensional and comprehensive China to the world. At the same time, as in any other country, foreign journalists must abide by relevant Chinese law and regulations and respect the administration of relevant Chinese authorities when working in China. The individual cases mentioned in Expressen's article involve violations of Chinese law, with irrefutable facts as evidence. No foreign journalist can use the freedom of press as an excuse to do whatever he/she likes. Even less can they enjoy the privilege of violating Chinese law without punishment. If they do anything illegal, they must be penalized by law.
The journalist mentioned in the article, Jojje Olsson, obtained a Chinese visa by fraud and thus seriously violated Chinese law, which clearly stipulates that foreign journalists must have a Journalist Visa to work in China. Olsson applied for and obtained a Chinese visa for travel and study, but engaged in untruthful news reporting activities in China, which constituted the offence of fraudulently obtaining a Chinese visa. Olsson's deceptive and shameful behavior fully indicates that he is not an honest or credible person. People with even just a little common sense and independent judgment have no difficulty in seeing that the articles he wrote about China are filled with false and exaggerated content intended to maliciously smear China. He has not been to China for 2 years. He is not staying in Beijing, yet he use "InBeijing" as his brand. He does not understand the situation in China but poses as a "China expert". Where is the credibility of those fabricated articles?
China is a country ruled by law. All people, including foreigners, are equal before the law, with no exceptions. Any foreigner in China has to abide by Chinese law and regulations, with no super-national treatment. Relevant Chinese authorities handle all criminal cases, including those involving foreign citizens, in accordance with law and legal procedures, and safeguard all foreigners' legitimate rights in China according to law. Gui Minhai has committed serious crimes in both China and Sweden. In 2003, he killed a young college girl while drunk driving in China's Ningbo and escaped. He was also suspected of illegal business operation and illegally providing state secrets and intelligence overseas and endangering state security. As opposed to what some Swedish media claimed, that he was kidnapped, in fact he turned himself in to Chinese police in 2015. The Swedish media reported this case quite irresponsibly. How can they face the young college girl killed by him? Peter Dahlin was detained and deported by China's law enforcement authority on suspicion of financing criminal activities that endanger China's national security. He was not at all kept in a "secret jail". We hope that the Swedish media will respect China's judicial sovereignty and trust China's judicial fairness.
We always welcome more foreign journalists to pay attention to and report on China. We also welcome more foreign friends to work, study and live in China and become a bridge linking China with the world. It is hoped that the Swedish media will abide by professional ethics and principles and report on china objectively, impartially and non-selectively, so as to play a constructive role in enhancing mutual understanding between our two peoples. It is also hoped that Expressen will have the courage to publish our letter and let the readers hear different voices and learn about the truth. Otherwise, this can only be another regrettable proof of our point of view on "media tyranny". The Chinese Embassy in Sweden is willing to conduct open and candid dialogues on relevant topics with Expressen and its readers in an positive and constructive manner.