A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that the anal swab tests given to American diplomats to test for COVID-19 was given “in error,” according to VICE.
“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 Wednesday.
The spokesperson assured that the test was given “in error” and that diplomatic personnel were exempt from the test, which was mandatory for incoming travelers to some parts of China.
“We have instructed staff to decline this test if it is asked of them, as was done in the past,” the spokesperson continued.
Last month, authorities in Beijing administered anal swabs for some people who came in contact with COVID-19.
After Washington diplomats complained that the practice was undignified, the Chinese government promised to stop using them.
The State Department spokesperson said it is committed to preserving the “dignity” of American diplomats and their families, consistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and other diplomatic law provisions.
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian denied the claims on Thursday, telling a press conference that “China has never required US diplomatic staff stationed in China to conduct anal swab tests.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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VIDEO: Chinese military plane comes ‘dangerously’ close to U.S. aircraft over South China Sea
The United States Army recorded and released unnerving video of a close encounter with a Chinese jet over the South China Sea. The Chinese military plane came “dangerously” close to the U.S. military aircraft in the international airspace last week, the U.S. military announced on Thursday.
US, Chinese jets in close encounter over South China Sea pic.twitter.com/X8fbV84neF
— PressTV Extra (@PresstvExtra) December 29, 2022
The Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), the command responsible for overseeing U.S. operations in the area, said in a statement that the encounter occurred on December 21, during which a Chinese Navy J-11 fighter jet flew within 10 feet (3 meters) of a U.S. Air Force RC-135, a reconnaissance plane with about 30 people on board.
According to a U.S. military spokesperson, the Chinese jet came within 10 feet of the airplane’s wing, but 20 feet from its nose, causing the U.S. aircraft to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.
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