New Zealand has issued an official Christmas greeting to its international visitors, and Beijing has warned that the UK is celebrating a holiday of its own.
The message, issued on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, said that New Zealanders “will be welcome at the new UK holiday” on Dec. 17, when the country hosts a “worldwide celebration of Christmas”.
China has been sending Christmas greetings to tourists in the UK since 2005, after the British government gave New Zealand permission to host a British-style Christmas celebration.
“This is the country’s annual Christmas greeting,” the message said.
“The UK is one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world and New Zealand is proud to host the British-styled Christmas celebration.”
New Zealand was the first country to formally declare Christmas a national holiday in 2013, and China has also celebrated the holiday by hosting the Chinese New Year celebrations in its own capital Beijing.
The British government said in 2016 that it would not host a New Year’s Day celebration for the first time since 2004, in a move that has been criticized by many in China.