Beijing: China on Wednesday said Prince Charles' "snub" by skipping the royal banquet with Chinese President Xi Jinping was "not rude" even as its official media hit out at him saying "Charles chatter" will not affect the burgeoning Sino-UK ties.
"I have seen reports by foreign media on that. I think this logic is strange. We believe that there are reasons why Prince Charles did not attend the state dinner," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here when asked whether Prince Charles' decision was "rude".
"But I will not use the word rude to describe that. We have seen that Royal family has paid great attention and attached great importance to the visit of President Xi Jinping and they have warmly received him," she said.
"We hope all relevant parties will have positive and objective look at this state visit," she said.
However, Chinese media saw Charles' decision to skip the pompous royal banquet in London as a slur in an otherwise fairy tale welcome Xi received in his maiden visit to Britain.
While Hua was guarded in her reaction to Charles, state-run Global Times - attached to the ruling Communist Party China's (CPC) - hit out at the Prince in an editorial titled 'Charles chatter won't affect Sino-UK ties'.
According to the British media reports, Prince Charles skipped the banquet as he has done with the Chinese leaders in the past due to his close friendship and association with the Dalai Lama, whom China considers as a separatist.
The Prince famously described Communist Party leaders as "appalling old waxworks" in a journal circulated to his friends when he attended the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997, and has never been to China, according to British daily The Telegraph.
However, Charles met Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan separately, details of which were not known. Prince Charles also attended several activities to welcome Xi yesterday.
Hitting out at the western media for highlighting Prince Charles move to skip the banquet, Global Times said "most people won't read too much into it".
"The Western media would fail to direct public attention toward Prince Charles' skipping the banquet because the influence of the significant China-UK "golden era" cannot be jeopardised," it said.
The more attention that gossips about Prince Charles attract, the bigger the loss the Prince has to bear. It is a decision by Britain as a whole to develop all-round cooperation with China and the royal family is firm in supporting it, the editorial added.
There is no room for Prince Charles to confirm his "quiet protest".
"Most elites in the UK are aware that Xi's visit bears an unusual and historical significance and means more to Britain. We believe that Prince Charles is better aware of this and therefore declined to meet with the Dalai Lama," it said.