Sino-British relations have had their share of ruptures over the centuries, from the Opium Wars to the disturbed progress of the Beijing Olympic torch through London's streets a few years ago. And until yesterday it looked as though The X-Factor had created another awkward diplomatic incident. There were reports that the Chinese ambassador, Madam Fu Ying, had been annoyed by the noise from the fans of the ITV show's contestants (who are being housed near Madam Fu's London residence). But not a bit of it.
The Ambassador has made it known that she is actually very pleased to be "caught up in X Factor fever" and even claims to be a fan. It used to be said that "an ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for his country". But who could doubt the sincerity of Madam Fu's admiration for Stacey, Jamie and, of course, Jedward? We say: a new era of sweet harmony between our two great nations begins here.