If there was ever a good reason for claiming diplomatic immunity, this is it. In the midst of the ongoing tension with China over Taiwan and Xinjiang, Chinese authorities have literally been poking our diplomats in the rear. It’s China’s unique method of testing for traces of COVID. After complaints from the State Department, China swears it was all a big mistake.
“The State Department never agreed to this kind of testing and protested directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it,” a State Department spokesperson told VICE World News on Wednesday.
The spokesperson said Beijing had assured Washington that the test was given “in error” and that diplomatic personnel were exempt from the test, which was mandatory for incoming travelers in some parts of China.
Today, a Chinese spokesperson denied this had happened at all:
“As far as I know, and I have also checked with my colleagues, China has never asked US diplomats in China to take anal swab tests,” ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters at a daily briefing on Thursday.
The US diplomatic source told CNN that US representatives in China have been “negotiating with the Chinese for a while” to avoid their staff being subjected to such tests.
For once, Zhao Lijian is spouting a lie that Americans can get behind (pun intended). Clearly some staff were subject to it which is why the State Department complained but if China wants to say it never happened, I’m sure no one is eager to put up their hand and testify about the experience.
I’ll point out again, as I did before, that this testing doesn’t make much sense. If throat swabs are yielding negative results then people probably aren’t spreading the virus into the air. Testing someone’s rear end only makes sense if that turns out to be an alternate means of transmission. But there’s no evidence of that.
This is literally China being anal about testing in a way that provides no benefit to anyone. Well, no one except Xi Jinping who is probably telling his friends and generals about the U.S. Diplomats who were forced to drop their trousers for a very special COVID test. I’m sure he’s getting a lot of belly laughs out of it.
Here’s the Chinese denial as it appeared on Chinese funded news outlet CGTN: