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Nov 07, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

Fake News: No, Le Monde, Hungary was not alone in Shanghai

That might be a story, if it were true. But the Le Monde reporter got a few facts wrong

Yesterday, Le Monde published “La Chine peine à convaincre l’Occident de son ouverture” (China struggles to convince the West of its openness). The author, Frédéric Lemaitre, reports that China has just hosted its first international import exhibition but, as the title suggests, the country is having a difficult time with its pitch to the rest of the world.

So difficult, claims Lemaitre, that Prime Minister Orbán was the only European leader to attend and Hungary the only EU country to be present as an honorary guest. The others, he reports, were Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia and Vietnam.

That might be a story, if it were true. But the Le Monde reporter got a few facts wrong.

Hungary was one of 12 honorary guests, a list that also included Germany and the United Kingdom.

Not only that, Prime Minister Orbán had plenty of company from the EU. He was joined by the president of the Czech Republic, the prime minister of Croatia, the president of Lithuania, the prime minister of Malta and the deputy prime minister of Italy. Several other EU countries were represented at the level of minister. 

That work of journalism is so sloppy it deserves special mention in our fake news collection.