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Chinese Embassy Sent Threatening Emails to Swedish Journalist Who Reported on Xinjiang Cotton Ban

[Editor’s Note: As a result of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) genocide of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and other ethnic minority groups, many Western companies announced that they would not use Xinjiang cotton due to the persecution and the slave labor involved in the cotton production. China launched a boycott against multiple foreign companies including Swedish H&M clothing brand over their statement that they would ban cotton made in Xinjiang. Jojje Olson, a Swedish independent journalist recently received threats from the Chinese Embassy in Sweden for his coverage of Beijing’s boycott of H&M. As a result, members of the Swedish Christian Democrats and Sweden Democrats urged the Swedish government to expel Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou from Sweden. See Chinascope’s previous article on the boycott at]


According to Expressen, an evening newspaper in Sweden, on Thursday April 8, Jojje Olson, an independent journalist who is familiar with China issues, received an email from the Chinese Embassy. The email demanded that he stop writing critical news reports on China and accused him of conspiring with people who advocate “Taiwan independence” and spreading misinformation to incite anti-Chinese sentiments. The email called Olson “dishonest and morally corrupt” and explicitly warned Olson that he would face consequences. This is not the first time that the embassy demanded that Olson stop reporting on China but the tone in the latest email appears to be more threatening.

A spokesperson for the Sweden Democrats stated that the Chinese ambassador to Sweden has threatened Swedish journalists and politicians for many years, which is unacceptable. In 2019, the Swedish Democratic Party proposed that Ambassador Gui Congyou be listed as an “unwelcomed person.” A spokesperson of the Christian Democrats mentioned that even though Gui Congyou was summoned, he didn’t change his wolf-warrior diplomatic style. Therefore the Swedish government should list Gui as an “unwelcome person.”

Since taking office as the Chinese ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou has repeatedly accused the Swedish media of “viciously attacking the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party.” In 2020, Gui Congyou accused the Swedish Express and the Swedish Daily of “maliciously criticizing China.” The embassy sent at least three malicious e-mails to the political editor of the Swedish Nerikes Allehanda newspaper for publishing an interview with Taiwan’s representative to Sweden while criticizing China in the same report.

Other Swedish opposition parties also expressed dissatisfaction with the Chinese Embassy’s attempts to influence Sweden’s freedom of speech.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde stated that the Swedish government has summoned Gui Congyou multiple times to inform him that freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution of Sweden and that journalists are free to conduct interviews and reports. Meanwhile the Swedish government has repeatedly asked the Chinese ambassador to respect Swedish law and said they would not accept threats.

Source: Radio Free Asia, April 10, 2021