- A Canadian diplomat in China ordered custom T-shirts that said “Wuhan” in the style of Wu-Tang Clan’s logo.
- The Wu-Tang logo is a “W,” though users of China’s Twitter-like Weibo described the logo as looking like a bat.
- Canada apologized to China for the shirts, calling the incident a “misunderstanding.”
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Canada has apologized to China after a diplomat of the country’s Beijing Embassy ordered custom T-shirts that said “Wuhan” in the style of Wu-Tang Clan’s logo.
The rap group’s logo is a stylized “W,” though Reuters reported that when the maker of the shirt posted images of it online, users of China’s Twitter-like Weibo described the logo as looking like a bat, which scientists have suspected to carry COVID-19 before it spread to humans in Wuhan, China, in 2019.
Upon learning about the shirts, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told the Associated Press that he wanted Canada to “thoroughly investigate the incident and give China a clear explanation.”
A spokesperson from Canada’s foreign service agency told Reuters that Canadian officials “regret the misunderstanding” and that the shirts weren’t made to mock China’s response to COVID-19.
—Austin Ramzy (@austinramzy) February 1, 2021
“The T-shirt logo designed by a member of the Embassy shows a stylized 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,” the spokesperson said.
Wu-Tang clan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on their logo being used.
Chinese-Canadian relations have been tense in recent years – in 2018, China arrested two Canadian men and accused them of spying, and Canada detained the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, Meng Wanzhou, who is wanted in the US on fraud charges.