BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. military bases overseas are contributing to the spread of COVID-19 within local populations, and the United States should reflect deeply on the negative impact that its actions have had on global anti-pandemic cooperation, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a daily news briefing in response to a query.
According to reports, Denny Tamaki, governor of Japan's Okinawa prefecture, said the U.S. military has spread the Omicron variant to the prefecture, and that he was outraged at infections among personnel at the U.S. military camp spilling over to the local civilian population. He also renewed the call for a lifting of the exemption of U.S. military personnel to Japan's quarantine rules.
Wang said that this is not an isolated incident, as clusters of cases in U.S. military bases overseas have posed a severe threat to the lives and health of local people.
"The spreading of infections has also been caused by U.S. military personnel in the ROK and Germany," Wang noted.
He said that U.S. soldiers stationed overseas have overridden the laws of host countries, defied and disobeyed local anti-pandemic protocols, and ignored local people's right to life and health, as well as the right to public health. Time and again, they have become COVID-19 "superspreaders" across the world.
"COVID-19 protocols should be applied without exception, be it to a place or a person," said Wang, adding that the United States should deeply reflect on the negative impact its acts have brought to global anti-pandemic cooperation.
The United States should enforce strict constraints on the U.S. military overseas, showing respect and a sense of responsibility toward the health of people around the world, instead of setting a bad example in the global fight against COVID-19, said the spokesperson.