A day after suspending the handle of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Twitter has restored the account citing a “systematic mistake”, and apologised.
The account was only reactivated after the Chinese Embassy lodges two protests, requesting to clarify and correct the decision.
“The embassy feels regretful about this 'systematic mistake', and would like to reiterate that freedom of speech must be honoured, while not being misused to spread groundless, racial, or hate speech nor be treated with double standards", a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka reads.
Chinese authorities had been using the Twitter handle @ChinaEmbSL to share the relief efforts by China in the coronavirus-hit regions, including Sri Lanka. China is also making efforts to counter allegations about the origins of the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, Twitter also suspended the handle of Chinese Ambassador to Cyprus Mr Huang Xingyuan @ambassadorhuang on Tuesday. People on social media were furious over the decision and deemed it arbitrary.
Does the United States even block Twitter from China in Sri Lanka? Is this so-called free speech? The West has always said that China has no freedom of speech, and when you do it becomes illegal? https://t.co/HQ7cUA9OMM— Wholesale rides (@RidesWholesale) April 14, 2020
The twitter account of the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka has been suspended by the twitter authorities for fighting back against anti-china remarks. I would like to ask is this the so-called freedom of speech in the us? Where is freedom of speech Please remember, you stupid people— Lucas (@Lucas95150656) April 14, 2020
China's embassy in Sri Lanka is banned from twitter????? Wow, it's really liberal democracy. It's the most liberal and democratic place I've ever seen abroad. The last time the U.S. Embassy in China stigmatized the virus, Weibo didn't ban it— adiabb (@adiabb4) April 14, 2020
Chinese embassies across the world have been using every social media platform to bust the alleged information war peddled against Beijing by Western media and governments.
The Trump administration has been accusing China of hiding the truth about COVID-19 virus to the world. However, the Chinese government has repeatedly stated that it had informed the world at the right time and it is Western governments which did not take timely action after being alerted.