LUSAKA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- A top Chinese official on Tuesday dismissed reports in Zambian media that China has been selling human meat as food in Africa.
Reports on social media and a local newspaper quoted an unnamed Zambian woman living in China warning people to stop buying Chinese corned beef.
The woman claimed that Chinese beef companies were collecting dead human bodies, marinating them, packing them in tins labeled as corned beef and sending them to Africa.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming issued a statement expressing how unfortunate it was that people with ulterior motives were attempting to destroy the long-standing partnership between Zambia and China.
"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. This is completely a malicious slandering and vilification which is absolutely unacceptable to us," he said in a statement.
"We hereby express our utmost anger and the strongest condemnation over such an act," he added.
The Chinese envoy has since asked relevant government departments in Zambia to investigate the tabloid and source of the rumor in order to clear the name of the Chinese people.
Zambia's Deputy Defense Minister Christopher Mulenga has since promised that the government will launch investigations into the reports.
"The government of Zambia regrets the incident in view of the warm relations that exist between Zambia and China. We shall make sure that relevant government authorities will take up the investigations and give a comprehensive statement," he said.