Swedish climate change awareness activist Greta Thunberg has accused China Daily of ‘fat-shaming’ her in an article which criticized her condemnation of China’s carbon emissions.
Last week, China Daily republished an article from a WeChat social media user which shot back at Thunberg's criticism of Chinese emissions.
On Friday, Vice News picked up on the article and translated a section to read, “Although she claims to be vegetarian, judging from the results of her growth, her carbon emissions are actually not low.”
Interpreting the section as a jab at Thunberg’s weight, Vice News said the activist was “mocked for her weight” and used the headline, “Chinese State Media Just Tried to Fat-Shame Greta Thunberg.”
Spotting the Vice News article, Thunberg herself also took to Twitter to accuse the Chinese news outlet of fat-shaming her, tweeting, “Being fat-shamed by Chinese state owned media is a pretty weird experience even by my standards. But it’s definitely going on my resume.”
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Being fat-shamed by Chinese state owned media is a pretty weird experience even by my standards. But it’s definitely going on my resume. https://t.co/VfSEHU5N1A— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) May 21, 2021
The article, however, also made multiple points on the substance of the issue of China's emissions, arguing that the numbers Thunberg was citing should be put into context. Though the numbers cited put China above the United States and India, it explained that China still has fewer emissions per capita than the US.
The report also protested that since China is still a developing country, it is going to be producing more emissions as it grows, just as Scandinavian countries – one of which Thunberg is from – did during their periods of development.
China Daily’s EU Bureau Chief Chen Weihua also hit back, accusing Thunberg of spreading “disinformation.”
“Hi, Greta, if you read Chinese and click the link, you’ll find it’s not a China Daily article,” he pointed out, noting that it “was a story by an author on a social media website that was later reposted on China Daily Chinese language website” with “attribution to the original source” clearly labelled.
“It literally means Greta is tweeting a story which is disinformation,” concluded Chen.
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