“Very rude” Chinese in the UK – level 3
"Can I present Commander Lucy D'Orsi, Gold Commander during the Chinese State visit?"
"Oh, bad luck."
It was hailed at the time as a milestone visit, a great boost to UK-China relations, but yesterday the Queen revealed a different side to the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping.
In what has been seen as uncharacteristically unguarded comments made to a senior police officer, the Queen described Chinese officials as "very rude".
"I'm not sure whether you knew, but it was quite a testing time for me."
"I think at the point that they walked out of Lancaster House and told me that the trip was off, I felt that..."
"Yes, they were very rude to the ambassador, weren't they?"
"They were. Well, Barbara, she was with me and they walked out on both of us."
"I know, it's unbelievable."
"It was very rude and very undiplomatic, I thought."
Her candid comments came just hours after Prime Minister David Cameron was involved in a diplomatic gaffe of his own, telling the Queen that Afghanistan and Nigeria were "fantastically corrupt".
"No, Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world."
Buckingham Palace said it does not comment on the Queen's private conversations but added that the Chinese state visit was extremely successful.
Difficult words: hail (to call), reveal (to show), milestone (a moment when something changes greatly), boost an (improvement), undiplomatic (insensitive), candid (straightforward, honest), gaffe (something embarrassing).
How to improve your English with News in Levels: