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Diplomat says tweet on COVID-19 origin was response to stigmatization of China

Kilde: Chinese Foreign Ministry af Global Times

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday that the questions he raised in his personal tweet claiming that the US military representatives may have brought the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to Wuhan was a response to US politicians’ stigmatization of China.

When asked if Zhao's tweets represent the view of the Chinese government and about the purpose and background of the claims, Zhao said at a regular press conference on Tuesday that the Chinese government's view on the question of the origin of the novel coronavirus is consistent and clear: this is a scientific question and needs scientific and professional opinions.

"Recently, scientists and medical experts from different countries have been giving out research results, and their views and opinions should be taken seriously," Zhao said.

"The questions raised on my personal Twitter account are a response to US politicians' stigmatization of China, which also reflects the righteous anger of many Chinese people over these stigmatizing acts," Zhao said.

The international community must enhance cooperation in order to emerge victoriously against COVID-19, and China hopes the US can work together with China to enhance cooperation in fields including pandemic control work, Zhao said.

In March, Zhao tweeted speculation that it might be the US army that brought the epidemic to Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, in October 2019 after a top US health official admitted detecting coronavirus infections on some deceased flu patients.

Zhao urged the US to reveal more information, exercise transparency regarding its coronavirus cases and provide an explanation to the public.

Heated discussions have been circulating online over Zhao's tweets, following the Trump administration's all-out campaign to smear China on its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Zhao's decision to fight back on social media was praised by the Chinese public as a "smart move" by using American officials' tactics against them.