The Queen ‘s fair comment’s about the Chinese being rude

The Queen ‘s fair comment’s about the Chinese being rude

By Ben Kerrigan

Exactly how the Queen ‘s comments about rude Chinese officials will go down in China is not hard to predict. UK relations with China is obviously at an all time low, though her Majesty’s comments may just be evidence of how low this has gone.

The Queen ‘s  accusation that Chinese officials of being “very rude” to the British ambassador during President Xi Jinping’s visit last year should not be criticized. More important is whether her comment is true, the verity of her comments being the basis of its justification.

Rudeness at such high level spells unprofessionalism, deserving of rebuke at any juncture. The filming of her comments at a Buckingham Palace party on Tuesday was more positive than negative.  Cameraman working on behalf of British broadcasters captured filmed footage of her discussing  President Jinping’s trip with Metropolitan police commander Lucy D’Orsi. The capture of her words was immediately good for news headlines.

However, it is better than we know how the Queen feels on many of these issues, something that is more beneficial to the nation than negative in any way. Indeed, it may appear better in hindsight that her views are restricted to private conversations, yet this view amounts to the public having very limited insight into the Queen’s mind of important issues. Any rudeness displayed  by Chinese ambassadors should have been address and still can be addressed.

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The circumstances of the rudeness in question will be important to an overall assessment of what sparked the alleged rudeness, something the public will now care to know.

When D’Orsi was introduced as the officer responsible for security during the visit, the Queen was heard remarking: “Oh, bad luck. The Queen subsequently told her guest: “They were very rude to the ambassador” – (Barbara Woodward) Britain’s first female ambassador to China.

D’Orsi went on to complain to the Queen that Xi’s visit had been “quite a testing time for me” and claimed that at one point Chinese officials “walked out” on both her and the British ambassador, telling her “that the trip was off”.

“Extraordinary,” the Queen replied.

“It’s very rude and very undiplomatic, I thought,” the police commander concluded. The official comment from Buckingham Palace was : “The palace does not comment on private discussions of the Queen.  However, all parties worked hard to ensure that it proceeded smoothly”

The official statement contradicts the facts since complaints of rudeness and cancellations of schedules cannot be deemed smooth my any stretch of the imagination. Information is being withheld, which is the entitlement of parties who consider matters private. This still does not justify what can be considered to be a dishonest statement. The truth is that the Palace has a right to keep private matters they consider private, but once this becomes public knowledge the line of privacy loses credibility.

No comment has been forthcoming from the Chinese government on the latest comments from the Queen, perhaps in an attempt to prevent the situation from escalating beyond repair. Instead, the limited comment offered was:

“President Xi’s visit to the UK last year was a very successful one. Both sides have made great efforts for the success of the visit and the two sides highly recognized that,” Lu said.One can be forgiven for concluding that neither the government nor Buckingham Palace need to divulge details of  the  grievance the Queen had with the Chinese. After all, the government have far more important issues to deal with at  this summit, issues that may involve an explanation of the  pm’s television blunder, and maybe even an apology to Nigerian President Buhari. The problem with this conclusion is that it overlooks the paramount importance of displaying the highest level of integrity at all times.

For the record, Buhari’s assault on corruption in Nigeria is reported to be effective, with a number of people jailed for corruption and several more under investigation. His own reputation seems in tact, as he never been tied to corruption, and his declaration of his assets before he came into power showed him to have had insignificant money or assets. At least the Chinese are not known for ‘fantastic’ levels of corruption, though there is obviously some tension between them and the UK not brought to the fore when the Queen made her comments.

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