China Says It Never Asked U.S. Diplomats to Take Anal Swab Tests

China denied that it ever asked U.S. diplomats to take anal swab tests following a report that said Beijing admitted to the practice.

A Vice World News report said the State Department protested to China’s Foreign Ministry after it learned that some staff members were subjected to the procedure. China then assured the U.S. that the tests were given “in error” as diplomats were exempt, the report said, citing an unidentified State Department spokesperson.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Thursday told reporters that he checked with his colleagues about the report, and said it wasn’t true “as far as I know.”

“China never asked U.S. diplomatic personnel in China to go through anal swabs in Covid testing,” Zhao said.

While China doesn’t have a nationwide policy on use of anal swabs, they have been used increasingly this year on everyone from schoolchildren to travelers arriving to Beijing. The method involves the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab about two-to-three centimeters into the anus, with the sample then tested for active traces of the virus.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.