BEIJING/WASHINGTON, D.C. – China harshly hit back at the United States President Donald Trump over a tweet in which he referred to the new coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus”, condemning it as stigmatization. In a tweet on Monday night, Trump said the United States government would support those industries “particularly affected by the Chinese Virus”, PressTV reported.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Tuesday that Beijing was “strongly indignant” at the phrase, condemning it as “a kind of stigmatization”. Geng told reporters that the US had to “immediately stop its unjustified accusations against China”.
Trump’s remarks also drew criticism from figures inside the United States itself for inciting bigotry against the Asian-American community.
“Our Asian-American communities – people YOU serve – are already suffering. They don’t need you fueling more bigotry,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — whose state is one of the hardest-hit by the flu-like disease in the US — wrote on Twitter, addressing Trump.
The COVID-19 disease, caused by the new coronavirus, officially emerged in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province, late last year and is currently affecting 161 countries and territories across the globe. It has killed 7,165 people as of Monday night, according to Reuters tallies.
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. On Thursday, another Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Zhao Lijian, suggested that the United States military might have brought the new coronavirus to Wuhan during army games last year.
“When did patient zero begin in the US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!” Zhao tweeted.
The following day, the United States administration summoned China’s ambassador to Washington to protest Zhao’s comments.