Britain’s incoming ambassador to China has been slammed by Twitter users and activists after she posted a picture of herself posing with China’s ambassador whilst holding a copy of Xi Jinping’s book.
The Governance of China is a three-volume collection of writing and speeches by the Chinese leader. A copy was presented to her by Liu Xiaoming.
Wilson – who was previously the UK’s consul-general in Hong Kong – tweeted on Tuesday: “We can and must work for ambitious UK-China collaboration, on climate, health, trade, engaging on trickier topics too. I look forward to supporting a mature, positive UK-China relationship, in line with UK values.”
However, Twitter users were unimpressed and said the image was “totally regrettable,” “shameful” and “embarrassing.”
“This looks terrible. Accepting ‘Xi’s speech’ from this awful ambassador — I see it as an insult to the democratic values that we all share. Stop helping [the] CCP to spread their propaganda and infiltrate the democracies. This is an extremely bad move from the new British Ambassador,” tweeted exiled Hong Kong activist Nathan Law.
“Seriously, how could you be so naive to do such a picture? But not only take the picture, but then be so naive as to share it to the world, putting your nativity on display,” tweeted writer Richard Scotford.
Many compared the Xi book to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, though Liu tweeted that he was glad to meet Wilson: “I congratulated her on her appointment and hoped that she will play an active and important role in promoting China-UK relations.”
Liu himself was the subject of a Twitter-related embarrassment last week after he “liked” a pornographic video involving feet. The Chinese embassy said a “hack” was to blame, as it demanded answers from the social media platform.
When Wilson left her post as Hong Kong consul-general in 2016, she told HKFP that the “One Country, Two Systems” principle was an “unprecedented success.”