China's government asked Spanish officials Tuesday to act quickly to improve the image of the Chinese community living in Spain and to distinguish law-abiding expats from members of organized crime.

Efe was briefed on the matter by Yang Guangyu, leader of a ministerial delegation sent by Beijing to Madrid to garner information about Operation Emperor, a Spanish probe of alleged money-laundering by a number of Chinese citizens.

"I believe the Spanish government, respecting freedom of the press, can still do something to improve the image of the Chinese community here," Yang said, adding that he came to Spain in order to "find out in situ the truth of the matter" before preparing an exhaustive report to Chinese authorities.

Sources close to the Chinese delegation confirmed to Efe that Yang met with high officials of Spain's interior and foreign ministries to tell them of Beijing's concern about how the case might damage the image of the Chinese community residing in Spain.

"We need proof to convince the Chinese living in China that in Spain there is no Chinaphobia," the diplomat said. EFE