Swedish satirical program Svenska Nyheter caused something of a diplomatic stir on September 21, after airing a segment that mocked Chinese tourists. In the controversial piece, host Jesper Rönndahl warns Chinese visitors to the country not to mistake dogs for lunch or poop in public.
The show aired just weeks after a highly publicized incident involving three Chinese tourists being physically removed from a hostel by police in Stockholm.
Svenska Nyheter’s segment on Chinese visitors to the country did not impress the Chinese embassy in Stockholm, with the diplomatic office accusing both the program and its host of “spreading racism and xenophobia,” as well as “inciting hatred and bias against the Chinese and other races,” according to Sina. The embassy also urged the channel, Sveriges Television (SVT), and the program to apologize.
A warning has been issued to Chinese tourists in Sweden by the embassy, alleging that instances of robbery and theft are common, and that Swedish police have failed to solve a single case, according to South China Morning Post.
China’s embassy emphasized that Svenska Nyheter and Rönndahl “crossed the line of basic human morality, violated conscience and blatantly disregarded media ethics,” according to Sina.
On Twitter, Rönndahl declared that he was responsible for a “diplomatic crisis with a superpower.”
With international tourism spending by Chinese people reaching USD261 billion in 2016, China is by and large the No.1 outbound tourism country in the world. The Asian superpower is responsible for 21 percent of the world’s outbound travel expenditures, a statistic that should be taken seriously by hospitality professionals across the global industry.
[Cover image: screengrab via YouTube]