China’s ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming has released a stern statement seeking to battle misinformation that he said was harming China’s reputation in Africa.
The palava was caused by reports online claiming that China was taking dead bodies, marinating them, putting them in cans and then selling them in African supermarkets.
“This is completely a malicious slandering and vilification, which is absolutely unacceptable to us,” according to Youming’s statement, which was widely reported in Chinese state media.
Chinese state media accused tabloids in Zambia of spreading the rumors, stating that people with ulterior motives were attempting to destroy the long-standing partnership between Zambia and China.
A number of blogs and other publications appeared to have picked up the stories from Facebook.
Some reports quoted people who allegedly worked in Chinese meat factories as saying that the practice had begun because China had run out of space to bury their dead or that Beijing reserved its good, nonhuman meat for more powerful countries.
These pictures have been already been debunked as fake
Yang demanded an investigation by Zambia, prompting an apology from Zambian Deputy Defense Minister Christopher Mulenga.
“The government of Zambia regrets the incident in view of the warm relations that exist between Zambia and China,” Mulenga said.
“We shall make sure that relevant government authorities will take up the investigations and give a comprehensive statement.”