China expressed strong opposition to remarks made by Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka, who claimed during a sermon that the coronavirus was "a Chinese biological weapon", and has urged him to immediately correct his mistakes, the Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic said on Wednesday.
Duka's remarks, which disregarded the opinions of scientists and had no basis in fact, were groundless slander against China, the embassy said in a statement.
"China is firmly opposed to anyone politicizing the pandemic and stigmatizing China. The Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic urges Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka to immediately correct his mistakes and eliminate the adverse influence," the embassy said.
Tracing the origins of coronavirus is a complicated scientific issue, and scientific studies cannot be replaced by groundless suspicion and deliberate distortion, the embassy said, noting that World Health Organization experts have repeatedly stressed that it was highly unlikely that the coronavirus was leaked from labs.
The embassy's statement came after Duka called the coronavirus a "Chinese virus" and claimed that it was a "biological weapons leak," CNN Prima News reported.
Duka's remarks were also denounced by Czech experts. CNN Prima News quoted a Czech immunologist as saying, "Mr. Cardinal becomes a spreader of false news. I am also a Catholic and I am ashamed and I am embarrassed that our church is headed by such a person."
The embassy opposed similar accusations in October 2020, when former Czech minister of health Roman Prymula mentioned that it was "almost certain" the virus was leaked from a Chinese lab.
In response, the embassy said that as a health expert, Prymula should have known the complex nature of virus traceability, and made the assertion without any concrete proof, which is careless and irresponsible.