On January 23, 2012, Jeremy Paxman interviewed China’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Liu Xiaoming, live on BBC 2’s Newsnight program. During the interview, Liu made the remark that China cannot be called a communist country. Paxman asked Liu whether he was a communist. In response to the question, Liu did not answer directly but stated, “Well, in China, the ruling party is the communist party. The communist party now has more than 80 million party members. But you have to remember China is a country with 1.3 billion people. So I don’t think you can call China a communist country, just as you can not call the UK conservative UK.” The Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom has posted the full English text of the interview on its official website. Media in China, such as the popular portal sina.com, had reported the interview earlier.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in United Kingdom, January 26, 2012
Sina.com, January 24, 2012