A ruckus brought by China over Canadian T-shirts bearing an altered logo of the New York hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan continues, with China's Foreign Ministry saying it doesn't buy Canada's explanation that the shirts were not an insult linked to the coronavirus.
Canada's Foreign Ministry said this week that the shirts using the "W" logo of the Wu-Tang Clan but with the group's name replaced with "Wuhan" was not intended as a slight.
It apologised for any misunderstanding.
The Chinese-made T-shirts were reportedly ordered last northern summer by someone at the Canadian embassy in Beijing and word of them began circulating recently on the internet in China.
Chinese critics say the "W" is actually a bat and the shirt is meant to imply a connection between the animals and the virus outbreak in the city of Wuhan, playing on a stereotype about the Chinese taste for eating exotic species.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is suspected of originating in bats and its outbreak was first detected in Wuhan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday told reporters that Canada's explanation thus far was "not convincing".
"The wrongdoing of the Canadian staff concerned has already caused an egregious impact and triggered strong resentment and discontent among the ordinary Chinese people," Wang said.
"The Canadian side should take the matter seriously and give a clear explanation to the Chinese side as soon as possible."
On Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Christelle Chartrand said in a statement that "The T-shirt logo designed by a member of the embassy shows a stylised W, and is not intended to represent a bat. It was created for the team of embassy staff working on repatriation of Canadians from Wuhan in early 2020."
"This was a personal initiative from an employee and this was not endorsed by the embassy nor Global Affairs Canada. We regret the misunderstanding," Chartrand said in an email.