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‘I have not heard of this person’: Chinese ambassador claims ignorance in disappearance of Chinese journalist

Mary Margaret Olohan on March 23, 2020

The Chinese ambassador to the United States said Sunday that he had never heard of a Chinese citizen journalist who disappeared after covering coronavirus.

China’s ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai said in an interview with Axios that he had “not heard of this person” when asked about citizen journalist Chen Qiushi. Chen was a prominent video blogger in Wuhan who disappeared after filming the havoc that coronavirus has caused, The New York Times reported.

“Where is the citizen journalist Chen Qiushi? He was doing some of the early videos from inside Wuhan that were showing the response to the virus and the chaos that was happening inside Wuhan,” asked Axios’ Jonathan Swan.

“I have not heard of this person,” Cui responded.

Swan pushed Cui, asking, “Really? Chen Qiushi?” and noted that Cui was asked about Chen on “Face the Nation” on Feb. 9.

“No, I was not asked about any particular journalist,” Cui said.

“You were. … I watched the clip,” Swan told him. “Margaret Brennan named Chen Qiushi.”

“But I did not know him then,” Cui said. “I don’t know him now.”

“Well, it’s a month later,” Swan replied. “Weren’t you curious to find out who he was?”

“We have 1.4 billion people back in China,” the ambassador said. “How can I learn everything about everybody?”

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