ANL 27.74 Increased By ▲ 0.24 (0.87%)
ASC 16.95 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.35%)
ASL 24.55 Increased By ▲ 0.65 (2.72%)
AVN 96.00 Increased By ▲ 2.31 (2.47%)
BOP 9.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.11%)
BYCO 9.79 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.41%)
DGKC 111.95 Increased By ▲ 1.70 (1.54%)
EPCL 48.65 Increased By ▲ 0.86 (1.8%)
FCCL 21.70 Increased By ▲ 0.43 (2.02%)
FFBL 27.40 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.04%)
FFL 19.12 Increased By ▲ 0.32 (1.7%)
HASCOL 14.52 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.27%)
HUBC 86.51 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.18%)
HUMNL 7.64 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (4.23%)
JSCL 32.28 Increased By ▲ 1.34 (4.33%)
KAPCO 41.65 Increased By ▲ 0.60 (1.46%)
KEL 4.36 Increased By ▲ 0.26 (6.34%)
LOTCHEM 16.45 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (1.23%)
MLCF 43.67 Increased By ▲ 0.65 (1.51%)
PAEL 39.85 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.13%)
PIBTL 13.05 Increased By ▲ 0.44 (3.49%)
POWER 11.68 Increased By ▲ 0.29 (2.55%)
PPL 94.50 Increased By ▲ 0.50 (0.53%)
PRL 24.25 Increased By ▲ 0.26 (1.08%)
PTC 9.40 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-1.05%)
SILK 1.27 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.79%)
SNGP 45.15 Increased By ▲ 0.15 (0.33%)
TRG 108.98 Increased By ▲ 2.53 (2.38%)
UNITY 34.11 Decreased By ▼ -0.08 (-0.23%)
WTL 1.14 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.88%)
BR100 4,866 Increased By ▲ 32.65 (0.68%)
BR30 24,821 Increased By ▲ 127.44 (0.52%)
KSE100 45,984 Increased By ▲ 307.52 (0.67%)
KSE30 19,148 Increased By ▲ 122.61 (0.64%)
World

China defends ambassador walking on Kiribati people's backs

  • Zhao said some people had criticised the photos out of "political motives".
20 Aug 2020

BEIJING: China on Thursday defended its ambassador to Kiribati after photographs emerged showing him walking on local people's backs as part of a welcoming ceremony, insisting it was culturally appropriate to the Pacific Island nation.

Photographs and videos of the event ricocheted around the internet, attracting criticism, with one Twitter user describing it as "disturbing" and another saying it was "emblematic of what China does with debtors".

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman hit back over the ceremony, which came as Ambassador Tang Songgen made his first visit after China and Kiribati established diplomatic relations.

"At the kind request of the local government and people, and out of respect to Kiribati's culture and customs, Ambassador Tang finally agreed to accept, attending a welcoming ceremony involving local folk customs upon arrival," said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Zhao said the custom of walking on people's backs was "the most grand traditional welcoming ceremony on the island" and had been used by other visiting officials including an Australian official in 1998.

Zhao said some people had criticised the photos out of "political motives".

"Some Australians, despite knowing that Kiribati's islands have their unique customs, deliberately slandered and smeared China," he said.

"We fully respect local customs and culture when interacting with the Pacific countries. When in Rome, do as the Romans do."