Germany says China needed to promote constructive feedback on COVID-19

Germany says China needed to promote constructive feedback on COVID-19

In an effort to persuade them to make optimistic comments about how Beijing is treating the coronavirus epidemic, Chinese diplomats contacted German government officials, the German Interior Ministry said in a letter this month.

“The German government is aware of individual contacts made by Chinese diplomats with the aim of effecting positive public statements on the coronavirus management by the People’s Republic of China,” said the letter, seen by Reuters on Sunday.

“The federal government has not complied with these requests.”

The letter was dated 22 April and sent to parliamentary Green Party member Margarete Bause in response to her query as to whether Chinese diplomats have approached German officials with the intention of influencing them to make positive comments.

The interior ministry's comments were first published in the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. The paper cited Berlin's Chinese embassy as dismissing the article as inaccurate and reckless.

The embassy could not be contacted immediately for response on Sunday and there was also no immediate response from the Chinese foreign ministry to a Reuters requests for comment.

In the letter, the Interior Ministry said China's efforts to contain the epidemic had been recognized by the government, specifically after Jan. 23, even without Beijing being asked to.

It continued to say that Berlin had told the Chinese government that it believed transparency was necessary in the fight against the epidemic, without stating whether or not it believed the Chinese government was transparent.

The ministry hasn't assigned the contacts a time frame.

Report on Friday that China tried to block a report from the European Union alleging that, as per four sources and diplomatic correspondence, Beijing is spreading misinformation about the coronavirus epidemic.

The problem has also become a flash point between the US and China-with officials exchanging accusations of hiding information on both sides.

Image: In the letter, the German interior ministry said the government had acknowledged China's efforts to contain the pandemic.