US Summons Chinese Ambassador Over "Blatant, Global" Covid-19 Disinformation Campaign

Chinese state media conspiracy theories and allegations which have suggested it was actually the United States that first infected Wuhan province with deadly coronavirus via a US Army covert operation were "made official" this week by words of Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lijian Zhao.

Lijian Zhao claimed in a tweet that "It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan," citing prior televised testimony by CDC Director Robert Redfield in which he said that early COVID-19 cases were mistaken for regular influenza. 

The US State Department said on Friday it has summoned the Chinese ambassador to rebuke China’s “blatant, global” disinformation campaign on the novel coronavirus.

Fox News reports

A senior State official told Fox News that Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell called in Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai over China’s “blatant, global” disinformation campaign on the novel coronavirus.

Ambassador Tiankai was seen leaving the State Dept. building on Capitol Hill late this morning. He did give reporters any official comment on the meeting with US officials, which was no doubt testy. 

“Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation,” Lijian had further demanded in the prior controversial statements which triggered the diplomatic row.

But he wasn't alone. Days ago China’s ambassador to South Africa also suggested Chinese cities which early on became the global epicenter of the outbreak were likely infected from the outside. 

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai. Image source: Xinhua

“Although the epidemic first broke out in China, it did not necessarily mean that the virus originated from China, let alone 'made in China,” Amb. Lin Songtian tweeted.

The English messages coming out of Chinese diplomats and officials in online social media statements appear deliberately aimed at a foreign audience, which is what has reportedly further angered Washington officials.