US Embassy's online 'Wuhan virus' comments roil Chinese netizens

By Yang Sheng Published: 2020/3/27 7:02:42

Photo: Screenshot of Weibo account of the US Embassy in Beijing

The US Embassy in Beijing has intentionally exacerbated the ongoing war of words launched against China and provoked Chinese netizens after it posted two statements on its official Weibo account that referred to COVID-19 as the "Wuhan virus" on Thursday, a move that immediately outraged Chinese netizens nationwide. 

The US Embassy's first Weibo post referenced US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks made during the Group of Seven (G7) meeting where he referred to COVID-19 as the "Wuhan virus." The second Weibo post attacked Iranian leaders on issues surrounding COVID-19.

Both posts, written in Chinese, referred to COVID-19 as the "Wuhan virus," triggering widespread fury among Chinese netizens.

The posts received 650,000 "angry" hits, and over 130,000 comments expressing anger and dissatisfaction.

One comment said, "Shameless US politicians. The US cuts off flights to China at the beginning, and your president used two months to lie to your people by saying the virus was not a big deal. And now you blame and provoke us. Americans should be ashamed as they elected garbage like you, and now they are paying the price. Be strong Americans. We don't have spare masks and ventilators, sorry."

"Should we call AIDS "American Venereal Disease" as the first case was reported in the US? Wouldn't this sound practical if we applied US logic? By the way, previously, your government said it would donate $100 million to the countries suffering from COVID-19, so where is the money now?" read another comment. 

Chinese analysts said prior to the US Embassy Weibo posts, a war of words had already been launched by the US targeting the Chinese government, but now, even US President Donald Trump has stopped saying "Chinese virus." 

The US foreign affairs system, led by Pompeo, has maintained its provocation strategy by exacerbating the offensive and racist label to hurt Chinese people. Such action reveals that US politicians in charge of foreign affairs want to poison all aspects of China-US relations, said analysts.

Photo: Screenshot of Weibo account of the US Embassy in Beijing

Angry Chinese in Beijing said if it was legal to throw bricks and bottles at the US Embassy, then they would do so. One resident told the Global Times, "I personally oppose any donation to the US to help them to get rid of the epidemic. It is the US government's job, not ours. We don't help countries that do not have morals. If innocent Americans are harmed, then they can blame the White House."

After such racist provocation, the positive image of the US held by Chinese could be damaged or completely destroyed, said Chinese analysts. Also, anti-US sentiment within Chinese society could rise, and the US government should take full responsibility. 

Beijing resident Solomon Wang, 28, who lived and studied in the US for years was also offended and said, "I don't think Chinese people need to get outraged because outrage means we care about what the US said, but now I don't think the US government deserves care or attention from the  Chinese. They don't deserve any respect."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday also slammed Pompeo for not focusing on the battle against COVID-19 in his country, and has instead repeatedly stirred political disputes while smearing China to divert the attention of Americans away from US incompetence. 

Pompeo continues to defy global consensus, stigmatize China and discredit its epidemic response. The sinister intention behind his attempt is to deflect attention at home and shift the blame to the innocent, Geng Shuang, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Thursday's daily press conference. 

Geng's remarks followed Pompeo's at the G7 meeting where he again referred to COVID-19 as the "Wuhan virus," accusing China of launching an "intentional disinformation campaign." 

Chinese analysts said that Pompeo and other anti-China US politicians were the source of the problem that is preventing China-US cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. They are not just hurting Chinese people with their words, Cold War mindset, and racism, but also hurting innocent Americans who need China-made medical supplies to survive through the pandemic. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc across the globe and the situation in the US is getting worse. Under such circumstances, if a politician keeps provoking political disputes and disrupting international cooperation in combating the virus, instead of focusing on containing the spread at home and contributing to global cooperation, what morality does he have?" Geng asked.

We advise him not to go further down the wrong path, otherwise his hypocrisy and malign intentions will be further exposed, prompting more indignation and objection among the Chinese people and the international community, Geng said.

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