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China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy in Italy Escalates to Insulting Media

Chinese diplomats have broken all rules of diplomacy. For how long should we tolerate this outrageous behavior?

By Marco Respinti

September 6, 2022

Chinese Ambassador to Italy Li Junhua. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC.

taly continues to be a worthy international case study of how the long arm of the CCP tries to influence the life of democratic nations. After being the first major Western power that joined the Belt and Road Initiative in March 2019, and after its media became a colony of the CCP propaganda, Italy is now a country where a foreign embassy can dare to offend mainline media, which goes beyond any normal diplomatic practice.

On August 24, the Italian weekly magazine Panorama published an article denouncing the barbaric practice of organ harvesting that China performs at an industrial pace. On August 28, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Italy published a reply on its own web site.

The Embassy accused Panorama of defamation and plagiarism, expressing its “severe condemnation.” It stated that China is based on the rule of law, and that Chinese laws prohibit selling human organs and performing illegal transplants, adding that all surgical operations of that kind are based on voluntary donations of organs. So, the Embassy continued, forcible human harvesting is only a “rumor” that has been “fabricated ad hoc by the heretic cultFalun Gong’ and others anti-Chinese forces” to “create Sinophobia and deceive the international community.” The Embassy added that, “As everyone knows, ‘Falun Gong’ is anti-human anti-social cult, which destroyed countless families and a long time ago was banned by the Chinese government, according to its laws.”

Panorama’s article is also strongly criticized for the attempt to tie organ harvesting to the question of Xinjiang, where, the Embassy said, “there is no ‘genocide’ or ‘crimes against humanity’.” In fact, it commented that the so-called Xinjiang genocide is just “an excuse that the US use to denigrate and suppress China,” and is “the lie of the century.”

“China: When the State Wants Your Organs”: the original Panorama article.

The Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which the Embassy misnames the “Communist Victims Memorial Foundation,” is accused to having been “established by the US intelligence agencies” and thus has “no credibility.” As to such important institutions as the China Tribunal and the Uyghur Tribunal, his chairman, British barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice (whom the Embassy doesn’t call “Sir”) is defined as “a notorious expert in abuses of legal cases in the human rights international milieu and has tight lies with various anti-Chinese forces.”

Panorama replied in turn, affirming that the content of its article on human harvesting was documented through data published in peer-reviewed medical periodicals. So, the Italian magazine quotes its sources, but the Chinese Embassy in Italy doesn’t. The only source for the serious offenses uttered by the Chinese Embassy in Italy is the Chinese Embassy in Italy. For the Chinese Embassy in Italy what Panorama wrote, using identified sources, is fake because the Chinese Embassy in Italy says it is fake, and readers should be happy with it.

The Chinese Embassy in Italy defines Falun Gong an “anti-human cult” and Sir Nice a “notorious abuser.” Does the Embassy of the non-free and non-democratic PRC in Italy, in the poor Italian it uses to offend people and institutions in a free democratic country, realize what it does mean to call innocent people members of an “anti-human cult” and a well-respected, world-famous legal professional an “abuser”?

The abuses perpetrated by the CCP on religious groups, ethnic minorities, dissidents and all those the regime doesn’t like are abundantly documented since years in thousands of pages, have been reviewed by international organizations and independent researchers, have been acknowledged by parliaments, and are presented daily, among others, also by Bitter Winter. Yet the mouthpiece of the CCP in Italy calls everyone a liar without giving a single proof. It is surely a sign of CCP’s weakness and desperation, but a democratic country like Italy should not tolerate this outrageous behavior.

The very day of the first Panorama article, August 24, the US Department of State published an important report on the PRC, which “actively attempts to manipulate and dominate global discourse on Xinjiang and to discredit independent sources reporting ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity conducted against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur

Autonomous Region. PRC-directed and -affiliated actors lead a coordinated effort to amplify Beijing’s preferred narratives on Xinjiang, the US Department of State said, to drown out and marginalize narratives that are critical of the PRC’s repression of Uyghurs, and to harass those critical of the PRC.” Here we go.

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