China's embassy in London has strongly rebutted claims made in the British media that Beijing has disseminated misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis.
The response followed an article in the United Kingdom newspaper Daily Mail that claimed China had conducted a "misinformation blitz around the COVID-19 outbreak" that had led to a "lack of testing" in the UK.
The same publication alleged China was seeking to profit from the outbreak with "predatory offers of help" and that unnamed British government officials "are furious over China's campaign of misinformation" and that they had demanded "an urgent review" of Britain's relationship with China.
"Such reports on China's anti-epidemic measures by some British media are untrue and the accusations are groundless," an embassy spokesperson said in a statement. "They completely disregard the tremendous efforts and huge sacrifice of China and its people in the battle against COVID-19, and deny China's significant contribution to global public health and safety. We are shocked and deeply concerned."
The embassy said that after the outbreak, China wasted no time in identifying the pathogen and sharing genetic sequencing information with the World Health Organization, or WHO. China took "the most effective, strict and comprehensive measures" to contain the spread of the disease, and shared its experiences with other countries in need.
China provided assistance to more than 120 countries, including the UK, and to four international organizations, according to the spokesperson.
"The efforts and contributions of China should not be distorted or defamed," the statement read. "As Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO said, China 'deserves our gratitude and respect' and China's experience is 'worth learning'."
According to the embassy, senior officials in the British government have said that the reported remarks do not represent the UK government's position.
"We urge relevant British media and politicians to abandon their arrogance and prejudice, take an objective view of China's efforts and achievements in combating COVID-19, and contribute positive energy to global public health and safety, instead of doing the opposite," said the embassy.