The U.S. Embassy apologized for what Chinese students are calling an offensive social media post.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing made a social media post about the process of lifting some of the pandemic barriers between the States and China. In the post, the embassy asked a question that seemingly implied that Chinese students might be as happy as dogs.
“Spring has come, and the flowers are in bloom. Are you like this dog who can’t wait to go out and play?” read the post. Along with the post was a picture of a small dog trying to escape over the top of a gate. The post – made on social media app Weibo – was included in the Embassy’s visa section, where the embassy was inviting Chinese students to start applying for U.S. visas again. Donald Trump placed restrictions on most non-U.S. citizens coming into the U.S. from China following the COVID-19 outbreak.
It didn’t take long for Chinese students to react to the post, saying the post compared and likened Chinese students to dogs. “Dogs in American culture basically have positive meanings, but in Chinese culture and idioms, they are mostly negative,” one user on the app wrote, according to Reuters. The post was taken down after the backlash.
“The social media post in question was meant to be lighthearted and humorous. We took it down immediately when we saw it was not received in the spirit we intended,” said an embassy spokesperson. “We have the utmost respect for all Chinese people, certainly including Chinese students,” the spokesperson added. “We apologize if anyone was offended. That was certainly not our intention.”