China mocked German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel for incorrectly using a Chinese character in an article criticizing its “wolf warrior diplomacy”, calling it indicative of the Western media’s ignorance when it comes to the East.
Both China Daily and the Chinese Foreign Ministry pointed out the blunder, explaining that the giant character used as a feature in the piece meant “pitchfork” and not “power,” as intended.
China Daily stressed that “in order to consolidate their rigid impression about China,” the newspaper decided to use a Chinese character that means “power” at the top of the article. However, Der Tagesspiegel allegedly used the wrong character in its design, choosing “杈,” which, according to China Daily, “is different from the real Chinese character for power by one Chinese calligraphy dot stroke,” and actually means pitchfork.
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The Chinese newspaper went on to mock Der Tagesspiegel, claiming that “any pupil around the age of 10 in China knows the difference” between the two characters, and that the “humiliating” blunder would have been avoided if the newspaper had consulted just “one single Chinese person.”
China Daily EU Bureau Chief Chen Weihua – who made headlines last week for calling Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) a “lifetime b***h,” after she accused China of having a “5,000-year history of cheating and stealing” – also mocked Der Tagesspiegel’s error on Twitter, claiming it “mirrors the lack of China knowledge of those folks.”
My colleague did a scathing article on the blunder in a German paper article which carries a huge Chinese character. It was meant to be Chinese character for “power” 权，but it wrote it wrong. That mirrors the lack of China knowledge of those folks. https://t.co/LAtrCOStht pic.twitter.com/71UkDDGYnW
— Chen Weihua （陈卫华） (@chenweihua) December 11, 2020
Hua Chunying, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said the blunder did not surprise her “because there are some people who like to harp at China and criticize China as if they were China experts, when in fact, they know nothing about China.”
Berlin Free University Professor Andreas Guder questioned whether someone at Der Tagesspiegel intentionally used the incorrect character, commenting, “How else can this happen? Tragic,” before claiming that the West is unable to distinguish “human rights from a fork.”
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