Ministry condemns U.S.' 'Chinese' virus labeling

来源: 粤港澳头条   时间:2020-03-18 09:46:44

A team of Communist Party of China members from Blue Sky Rescue, a nonprofit civil rescue organization, disinfect a shopping street in Beijing aiming to support production resumption, on March 17, 2020. (Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily)

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday that some U.S. politicians' connection of the novel coronavirus with China is stigmatization, which China strongly condemns and firmly opposes.

He made the remark when asked to respond at a news conference to United States President Donald Trump's earlier remark on social media that referred to the novel coronavirus as a "Chinese virus".

"We urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistake and stop making groundless accusations against China," he said, adding that the World Health Organization had explicitly opposed connecting the virus with a certain country or region.

Given that the epidemic is spreading across the world, Geng said the top priority now is cooperation in combating the virus. The U.S. should mind its own business first and meanwhile play a constructive role in international epidemic cooperation and safeguarding global public health, he added.

Trump's reference came nearly a week after Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a U.S. House hearing that it was "wrong and inappropriate" to use such labels as "Chinese coronavirus", as the virus had severely affected the world.

"Viruses do not have a nationality," Rick Dunham, a veteran journalist and former president of the National Press Club in Washington, told China Daily on Monday. "I think it is objectionable in all cases to connect a disease, a virus, with a geographical location, because diseases are not national, they are global."

Dunham said that the outbreak is bringing out the best and the worst in people around the world, in terms of communities getting together and people sacrificing, but also with some playing the blame game.

"The enemy is the virus. The enemy is not another country," he said.

It is "always a bad idea" when there is a pandemic to have a country name attached to it, he said.

The "Spanish Flu" of 1918 to 1920 did not originate in Spain, and Spain was not responsible. "I think that the best practice was the Ebola outbreak. You didn't see coverage saying the 'African Ebola' outbreak," Dunham said.

Judy Chu, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, tweeted on Monday that people should stop calling the novel coronavirus a "Chinese virus", as this has led to racism and violence.

Long Xingchun, an international relations researcher at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said by stigmatizing China, some U.S. officials are not only ignoring the WHO's suggestion not to relate the virus with any country, but are also trying to mask domestic criticism of the U.S. administration's failure to promptly contain the outbreak.

Pan Mengqicontributed to this story.