In a series of bizarre events, the Chinese embassy in Zambia has refuted claims of China stocking Zambian supermarkets with human meat.
China's mbassador, Yang Youming, released a statement to address the bizarre issue after an unnamed Zambian woman living in China started a rumor that’s been circulating around the African country, and even made headlines in a local Chinese newspaper.
The woman warned Zambians to not eat beef imported from China, saying the communist country collected dead bodies, marinated them and then packed them in tin cans meant for corned beef.
Some reports claimed that China only sends good, authentic beef to powerful countries while others stated that this measure was taken up because China has run out of space to bury its dead.
While it is true that China is looking for ways to cut down on space for the dead, this particular rumor is quite untrue.
Snopes, a hoax-buster website, investigated the photos attached in the incriminating media and found out they were for a marketing campaign for the zombie-apocalypse game “Resident Evil.”
However, the widespread rumor has left a sore spot with Chinese officials.
“Today a local tabloid newspaper is openly spreading a rumor, claiming that the Chinese use human meat to make corned beef and sell it to Africa,” said Yang in a statement. “This is completely a malicious slandering and vilification, which is absolutely unacceptable to us. We hereby express our utmost anger and the strongest condemnation over such an act.”
Chinese state media has also accused tabloids of spreading the baseless allegation and stated, “people with ulterior motives were attempting to destroy the long-standing partnership between Zambia and China.”
Zambia’s Deputy Defense Minister Christopher Mulenga has since apologized to China and promised the government will conduct a thorough investigation into the origins of the report.
China’s rapidly growing influence in Zambia has bred resentment among many locals who claim China used them only for dangerous jobs with low pay. In 2012, Zambian coal miners killed a Chinese mining manager and injured his colleague during a riot over low wages.