The embassy of the People's Republic of China in Tallinn issued a statement saying a journalist's job is to support good relations between countries, daily newspaper Postimees reported on Friday. The statement was released after Postimees published a series of articles about the impact and influence of China in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
"Journalists are committed to professional ethics and must adhere to the principles of accuracy, impartiality and truth. They are expected to [contribute to] the advancement of Chinese-Estonian relations, instead of disclosing false and misleading information that twists the truth. We should cherish the friendly relations and bright prospects of China and Estonia," the embassy wrote.
Other topics the Chinese embassy emphasized in the statement included the importance of relations between Estonia and China, mutual respect, equal treatment and good cooperation in the field of economy, culture and tourism.
"The Chinese embassy is firmly committed to national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We appreciate the clear position of the Estonian government in support of the 'One China' policy. The Chinese government is strongly opposed to anyone who endorses or encourages any word or act that undermines our sovereignty and independence," it is said in the statement.
Last week Postimees' published a series of articles looking at China's use of soft power, intelligence gathering, and investment in the region. The first article (link in English) revealed how Estonian politicians have experienced aggressive "feedback" from the Chinese embassy in Tallinn after being in contact with representatives of Tibet or Taiwan.
The newspaper contacted the embassy for comment, giving them seven days to reply, but received no reply before publication. After the first article was published on Sept. 4 the head of the embassy's political desk, Wang Zhancheng, sent a statement to the paper.
Postimees said that although the embassy accused the paper and the journalists participating in the project of twisting the truth, no arguments were presented which supported this view. In addition, the embassy has still not answered the questions originally submitted by Postimees.
The articles published by Postimees were a collaboration between the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica in Latvia and Lithuanian business daily Verslo Zinios.
Editor: Helen Wright