China slammed the UK on Wednesday for hyping up the so-called secret police stations rhetoric, and urged the British side to stop spreading disinformation and stop smearing China after the UK had ordered China to close its "overseas police stations" but did not reveal any illegal activity at those sites.
Both Chinese and British experts see the UK's latest act as paranoia in taking China as a "threat" in an attempt to cater to the U.S.-led West's strategy, and constantly hyping up the "China threat" rhetoric that has been welcomed by some UK politicians who display an ideological bias. All this has cast a shadow over the already strained UK-China relations.
China strictly abides by international law and respects other countries' judicial sovereignty. We've made our position clear on the issue more than once, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a routine press conference on Wednesday. He noted that the truth is that there are no so-called secret police stations.
"We urge the UK to respect the facts, stop hyping up the matter and stop smearing China. The UK needs to stop creating obstacles for China-UK relations," Wang said.
The British government has ordered China to shut "unofficial police stations" operating on British soil, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat told parliament on Tuesday, according to media reports.
Previously, countries such as Netherlands and Canada had made allegations about China "running illegal police stations" after the nongovernmental organization Safeguard Defenders made allegations on the issue.
"If the British authorities were not able to find any signs of illegal activity then why did they raise the alarm? Is this not a clear sign that the paranoia about these so-called Chinese police stations is completely manufactured?" Tom Fowdy, a British political and international relations analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
The British government has chosen to embrace the U.S. line of China as a "threat" and pivot its foreign policy accordingly. The British mainstream media regularly launder anti-China propaganda and talking points originating from the U.S., most especially the BBC, Fowdy said.
Besides the hyping-up of the so-called secret police stations, Britain has committed to the removal of Chinese-made surveillance equipment from sensitive government sites "as part of its latest plans to address national security concerns related to China," Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Britain has used some groundless incidents to hype up the so-called China threat and taken a series of actions to undermine bilateral relations without any evidence, Gao Jian, a scholar from Shanghai International Studies University and China Forum expert, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
"This is not an isolated case, as the British side has been taking a series of similar moves to hype up the 'China threat.' For one reason, it needs to shift public attention from its own domestic woes, and for another, it has been catering to the U.S.-led West's Cold War mentality," Gao said.