A guest on the CNN network falsely claimed that Chinese diplomats sat down during Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky’s standing ovation.
CNN apologized to China’s Global Times newspaper on Thursday for a broadcast on Wednesday in which US Representative Michael McCaul accused a Chinese delegation of sitting during a standing ovation for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a World Economic Forum meeting. According to Chinese reports, the seated delegation was Vietnamese.
McCaul, a Texas Republican, told CNN on Wednesday that he was seated in front of a “Chinese delegation” during Zelensky’s speech at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday. McCaul stated that while other leaders in attendance stood and applauded Ukraine’s president, this delegation sat in silence before exiting the auditorium.
CNN aired a video of the diplomats sitting in their seats, and McCaul told the network that the scene “sent a clear message that they do not support Ukraine.”
However, Beijing denied that any of its diplomats were present at the time, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin demanded that McCaul retract his statement. CNN, on the other hand, addressed the error first.
“We regret the error that appeared on our air … we reached out to McCaul’s office for a statement,” the network told the Global Times in an email on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Global Times published a lengthy article about the blunder. The newspaper reported, citing other Chinese media sources, that one of the men in the picture behind McCaul appeared to be Vietnam’s deputy prime minister. Earlier this week, Vietnamese media reported that Vice President Le Minh Khai would attend Davos on Monday and Tuesday.
McCaul, a member of the Republican Party’s ‘China Task Force,’ has yet to comment on the incident