During my previous foray into journalism (at Foreign Policy magazine in DC), I was told never to use anything in a British newspaper to fact-check an article. Apparently there are more lenient standards for what gets printed in a newspaper in the UK than in the states.
I was reminded of this today while reading the Guardian, which was honored last year as newspaper of the year by the British Press Association. An article about Britons abroad asserted that there are approximately 3.5 million British citizens living in China. I found this curious because a BBC article on the same subject estimates 36,000 British ex-pats living in China. Strange that the Guardian figure is 100 times larger than the BBC's. Both articles note that roughly one in ten Britishers lives outside of the UK. However, if there actually are 3.5 million British citizens in China, then the numbers just don't add up right. There would have to be more than one in ten abroad.
Perhaps we should see how many Britishers the Guardian thinks there are in "Mauretania." According to the BBC, there are 1600 Britishers in Mauritania. So...roughly 160,000?