Years later, Prince Philip suggested the outcry had been disproportionate, adding: “The Chinese weren’t worried about it.” It’s difficult to say how it was received in China at the time, as media was very restricted and China was keen to forge a closer diplomatic relationship with the UK. However, the state-run Global Times said in 2011 that reaction at the time had been “extremely fierce”, and the Sina News website described the comments as inappropriate. A similar comment made by a German politician in 2016 prompted a Chinese government official to say that that the remarks showed “a baffling sense of superiority entrenched in some western politicians”.

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