A TV presenter has been ‘completely banned’ by China’s state broadcaster from hosting shows after suggesting Chinese people should apologise to the world over coronavirus, it is reported.
Qiu Menghuang, publicly known as A Qiu, now faces a gloomy career prospect after making the controversial claims on social media.
‘The plague of “the sick man of Asia” has been broken over a century ago,’ the anchor wrote in a post on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo.
‘Can’t we [Chinese people] speak in a milder and apologetic tone, and put on face masks without being weak or overbearing?
‘Bow to the world and say, sorry, [we’ve] caused troubles,’ he added.
His statement came after The Wall Street Journal published an article with the headline that called China ‘the real sick man of Asia’ amid the coronavirus outbreak.
China expelled three reporters from the U.S. newspaper after the media outlet declined to apologise for the headline.
CCTV (China Central Television), the state-run broadcaster, then forbade the 52-year-old host from presenting any programmes due to his controversial claim, a source told the press.
This came after Sina Entertainment, Weibo’s official showbiz account, said the information was revealed by an insider from the chief editor’s office.
The Chinese presenter has since hidden all of his Weibo posts on his page.
A Qiu had hosted a variety of shows on the state-run broadcaster for the past 13 years. It is unclear that if he would be allowed to appear on other regional channels.
A Fox News host has also sparked controversies after he said Beijing should apologise over the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 3,300 people worldwide.
Jesse Watters, who hosted an American talk show, made the comments half-jokingly as he said ‘I’d like to just ask the Chinese for a formal apology’.
He continued: ‘This coronavirus originated in China, and I have not heard one word from the Chinese. A simple ‘I’m sorry’ would do. It would go a long way.’
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson from the Ministry, blasted the host’s remarks as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘laughable’.
They completely exposed his arrogance, prejudice and ignorance towards China,’ Mr Zhao said at a daily press briefing.
The spokesperson stressed that epidemic diseases were the common enemies of mankind and patients in all countries were victims.
There are over 80,500 people infected with the coronavirus in China, with at least 3,042 deaths.
Worldwide, the death toll has surpassed 3,400 today and the total number of cases has reached over 100,000.
Outside China, more than 70 nations are now battling the contagion, with South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran among the worst-affected.