Flag fiasco: China demands removal of political propaganda from EU embassies

ukrainian flag outside belgian embassy

The Belgian Embassy flying a Ukrainian flag. Photo credit: Embassy of Belgium in China (via Facebook)

FOREIGN embassies in Beijing, including European embassies, have been instructed to remove what China’s foreign ministry calls “politicised propaganda” from their buildings according to reports released on Wednesday, May 17.

It is believed that this directive is aimed at the Ukrainian flags proudly displayed by several European missions as a show of solidarity following Russia’s invasion.

The notice, issued earlier this month, cautioned against placing provocative displays on the exterior walls of embassy buildings that could incite disputes between nations.

Several EU embassies, as well as US, UK and Canadian embassies have been exhibiting the Ukrainian flag as a symbol of support. Embassies often display flags or banners to express solidarity with various countries or causes, such as the LGBTQ+ Pride flag.

However, at least one diplomat told Reuters that their mission has no intention of complying with the request.

China’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict has drawn global attention. While Western nations have condemned Russia’s actions, China, a staunch ally of Moscow, has remained notably silent.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has attempted to position himself as a mediator in the conflict while openly expressing support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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