© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan performs through the Coachella Music Pageant in Indio

BEIJING (Reuters) – Canada stated it regretted a “misunderstanding” after China lodged a proper grievance over a diplomat’s order of a customized T-shirt displaying the phrase Wuhan, town the place the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged, over the symbol of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan.

The brand of the American group is a stylized “W”. Experiences of the T-shirt order circulating on China’s Twitter-like Weibo (NASDAQ:) described it as depicting a bat, with out mentioning Wu-Tang Clan. Many scientists suspect bats to have been a reservoir for COVID-19 earlier than it jumped to people.

It was not instantly clear how pictures of the T-shirt brand, which the Canadian embassy stated was created early final 12 months, got here to flow into on Chinese language social media.

“We’re very shocked by this and have lodged representations with Canada, asking for a radical investigation and a transparent clarification,” overseas ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stated in response to a query at a day by day briefing on Monday, including that the virus shouldn’t be linked to particular international locations or areas.

Beijing has been extremely delicate in regards to the supply of the virus, and has sought to forged doubt on the notion that it originated in China.

“The T-shirt brand designed by a member of the Embassy reveals a stylized W, and isn’t meant to symbolize a bat. It was created for the crew of Embassy employees engaged on repatriation of Canadians from Wuhan in early 2020,” a spokesperson for Canada’s overseas service instructed Reuters by e mail early on Tuesday. “We remorse the misunderstanding.”

Relations between Beijing and Ottawa have been strained since late 2018, when China arrested two Canadian males and accused them of spying, shortly after Canadian police arrested Huawei Applied sciences Co Ltd’s chief monetary officer, Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.

A crew led by the World Well being Group is in Wuhan investigating the outbreak’s origins.

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