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Chinese Media Kept Mum On Queen Elizabeth Calling Chinese Diplomats "Very Rude"

But a lot of people noticed and wondered why the insult wasn't broadcast.

Posted on May 11, 2016, at 5:50 p.m. ET

So here we are, having spent the past half a year thinking we are in the middle of the "Golden Era" of relations between the United Kingdom and China.

Wpa Pool / Getty Images

You could almost see Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese leader Xi Jinping fantasizing about the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trade deals made as they exchanged beers.

Wpa Pool / Getty Images

Until one day a crack in veneer changes everything. At a Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II was caught on camera talking to a senior police officer who helped organize last year's state visit.

"Oh, bad luck," the Queen said, according to footage captured by the BBC, when she heard about the officer's assignment.

Her complaints about the "very rude" Chinese officials have been making headlines since the hot mic footage was released.

But not in mainland China. On China's most popular search engine Baidu, only four news stories can be found about "the Queen" and "rude": three of them are dated before 2014 and the only one about the current #QueenGate was reported by a website from Taiwan.


China’s Foreign Ministry, which has been pushing the UK-China bond, declined to spell out whether the “Golden Era” was still alive, according to The Guardian. And according to the BBC, its transmission of the Queen's comments was blocked in China.

The closest report we can find from the media is Cameron's comments referring to Nigeria and Afghanistan as “two of most corrupt countries in the world,” which the Financial Times and Singapore-based Zaobao posted on Weibo.

(Nigeria and Afghanistan are likely wondering why the focus is on them in this case.)

Despite collective silence from the media and a nationwide cutoff from access to many mainstream news sources, some people are still trying to get the word out about QEII's diss.

"Hey editor, [you can] also talk about the British Queen's private negative comments on Chinese officials," commented user "Sanlitun Little Prince" under the Zaobao Weibo post.

And some feel it's unfair that Cameron didn't bring up "a certain country" when it comes to corruption. "Cameron is such a coward," user “Pomegranate Red chn” comments.

Some users pushed back in the comment thread, as it was impossible for them to understand why so many commenters don't love their country as they do.

"He's just criticizing Nigeria and Afghanistan and the comments here are all about China, I'm just speechless," user "Wei Xu Greenday" says. "What are these people thinking? Hoping for China's collapse?..."

In fact, maybe it is ruder to inform the people that the Queen isn't really a fan of "very rude" Chinese officials.

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After all, it could just be karma — a few hundred years ago, a Chinese emperor said similar things to the British delegation when it refused to kowtow:

"Our Celestial Empire has all things in prolific abundance…there was therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians”

"I do not forget the lonely remoteness of your island—cut off from the world by wastes of sea—nor do I overlook your inexcusable ignorance"

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.