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Chinese embassy in Canada criticizes local newspaper for 'distorted' report

(People's Daily Online)    16:23, May 10, 2017

(Photo/Guancha.cn)

The Chinese embassy in Canada on May 9 released an official statement accusing a Canadian newspaper of distorting facts and casting aspersions about China’s education system.

The controversial article, published by The Global and Mail on May 2, comments on a story about American inventor Thomas Edison that was previously included in a Chinese textbook. The story states that, as electric lights had not yet been invented, 7-year-old Edison utilized mirrors to reflect candlelight to help doctors perform an appendectomy on his mother.

The article has been criticized by Chinese scholars as not in accordance with history nor common sense. In addition, it has already been removed from the new version of the textbook, which will be used from the coming semester. Nevertheless, the newspaper implied that China is using the textbook to promote a particular ideological and moral leaning among its youth.

According to the report, the story about Edison was taken from the 1940 American film "Young Thomas Edison," and it speaks to the “pernicious effect of propaganda in Chinese schools dating back to the Communist revolution.”

In response to this accusation, the Chinese embassy said it wrote to the newspaper to make its position clear, emphasizing that the purpose of teaching the story was to cultivate children’s interest in science and shape their morals. The report, the embassy claimed, distorted these good intentions.

“Even if the story was fabricated, it was not fabricated by the Chinese but by Westerners themselves. If a journalist views and reports on China only from a negative perspective, how can Canadian readers have an objective view on China?” the embassy asked.

This is not the first time the Chinese embassy in Canada has accused a local newspaper of distorting facts about China. On May 2, the embassy issued an announcement criticizing La Presse, a French-language daily newspaper, after the latter claimed that intelligence agents had been tracking several Chinese journalists in Canada due to suspected espionage. 

(Photo/Guancha.cn)

 

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