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
You may like
Biden to lift sanctions on China in exchange for third promise to combat fentanyl
Reportedly President Joe Biden is making deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help improve anti-drug trafficking measures. China is one of the top fentanyl producers and distributors, culminating in a pandemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the United States.
The Biden administration will be lifting sanctions on a Chinese government ministry, in exchange for bolstering anti-drug trafficking measures, Bloomberg reported. “We’re hoping to see some progress on that issue this coming week,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, according to the New York Post. “That could then open the door to further cooperation on other issues where we aren’t just managing things, but we’re actually delivering tangible results.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation noted that should a deal materialize, it will be at least the third time that China has promised to get tough on fentanyl. In 2016, China agreed to increase counter-narcotics operations, and Xi again agreed to launch a crackdown in 2018. Nonetheless, China and Mexico are “the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States,” according to a 2020 DEA intelligence report.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.”
President Joe Biden and Xi are meeting for the first time in over a year during this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. Sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will crack down on Chinese companies manufacturing chemical precursors for fentanyl in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science, which the Commerce Department added to the Entity List in 2020 for “engaging in human rights violations and abuses” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
You may like
Media7 days ago
Robert De Niro anti-Trump speech mysteriously replaced in teleprompter at Awards Show
Israel6 days ago
Israeli Military says Hamas violated ceasefire agreement by firing at IDF troops
education5 days ago
Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opens investigation into Harvard University
Nation5 days ago
GOP Weighs Formalizing Impeachment Inquiry into President Joe Biden