The publishers of an Air China inflight magazine which warned about ethnic minority areas of London have issued an apology, as Chinese media and public back the airline for giving people the ’truth’ about the British capital.
Air China’s ‘Wings of China’ magazine sparked a race row after it warned visitors that precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people”.
The remarks caused an outcry among London’s MPs, with two saying they would seek answers from the Chinese Ambassador to the UK.
A ‘Letter of Apology’ from Wings of China’s publisher, Air China Media Group, admitted the article “caused misunderstanding.
(It) created a huge negative influence to the operation, image and reputation of Air China. We express our deep apology for this, it added.
It is unclear if Air China Media Group is controlled by Air China, however, both companies are under under the umbrella of the state-owned China National Aviation Holding Company.
Air China itself said it has hundreds of magazines on its flights in many different languages, and the articles that they carry are not Air China’s opinions.
“Air China has withdrawn the magazine on all flights after noticing the problem, and demanded the magazine’s publishing house learn lessons and avoid similar problems from happening again,” it said.
Chinese media threw their support behind Air China, with The Global Times, a state-run tabloid with a history of publishing highly-provocative commentaries, accusing Britain of having double standards.
“Air China was criticised by UK media for being racist when it reminded people to take precautions in areas populated by Indian, Pakistani and black people when visiting the UK, it said in a Tweet posted on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
But on the other hand, the UK government announced it would spend £2million to build a huge concrete wall in Calais, France, to stop refugees, it said, in a post which mixed up British citizens with illegal refugees.
The newspaper also carried an editorial on Thursday which accused the London MPs of being aggressive and exaggerating. It said they seized on the issue to promote their political correctness.
Chinese social media also overwhelmingly backed Air China.
It is absolutely the truth, said one comment on Sina Weibo. Let the people who oppose this take a walk in those dangerous areas in middle of night.
Why should (Air China) apologise?, said another.
Additional reporting by Christine Wei
News Source TelegraphNews