The Chinese Embassy in London released a statement on Wednesday claiming that Beijing's ambassador to the UK's Twitter account was "hacked."
"Recently, some anti-China elements viciously attacked Ambassador Liu Xiaoming's Twitter account and employed despicable methods to deceive the public", the embassy's spokesman said in a statement.
"The Embassy has reported this to Twitter company and urged the latter to make thorough investigations and handle this matter seriously. The Embassy reserves the right to take further actions and hope that the public will not believe or spread such rumour".
This comes after the ambassador's account "liked" a 10-second clip of a woman in stockings performing a sex act. The "like" was up all morning and observable to his 83,500 followers all morning before it was removed.
The Chinese description of the video translates broadly to: “Lucky quality single guy, warm up first" and the Chinese language account is aimed at fans of 'Beautiful legs in stockings'.
In a strong response to the the embassy statement, the ambassador said that "A good anvil does not fear the hammer".
— Liu Xiaoming (@AmbLiuXiaoMing) September 9, 2020
Twitter erupted into laughter following the incident.
— Xun-ling Au (@XunlingAu) September 9, 2020
Some even accused the ambassador of accidentally liking the video by mistake, questioning why a hacker would not retweet the video for maximum impact.
— 森林花花 doggies garden (@99_secretgarden) September 9, 2020
Others were more sympathetic to the diplomat.
— 胡萝卜🥕不是萝卜 (@raddishujanai) September 9, 2020
The controversy comes amid heightening tensions between China and the United Kingdom over Westminster's condemnation of Beijing's actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming was recently quizzed on the BBC over a leaked video allegedly showing Muslim prisoners blindfolded and shackled amid claims by the US that China is launching a campaign of ethnic and religious targeting.
However, the video was revealed to be over a year old and to actually show the transfer of detainees between prisons.
The Chinese ambassador accused the UK of interfering in Chinese internal affairs after London suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to the new national security law introduced by Beijing in the special administrative region.