SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — A firestorm of controversy was ignited after a high-ranking Chinese diplomat made a false claim that a landmark bridge in Turkey had been built by a Chinese company.
Chinese Consul General in Belfast Meifang Zhang tweeted on Monday, claiming that “The Canakkale Bridge has withstood the earthquake. It was built by China.” She also posted a hashtag #Chinatech.
The post has been retweeted more than a hundred times and reached 1.6 million views.
The Chinese embassy in Paris shared the tweet, claiming in the French language that “A bridge that China built in Turkey has withstood the earthquake.”
The claim was soon found to be incorrect.
The 1915 Canakkale Bridge, which straddles the Dardanelles strait in northwestern Turkey, is the world’s longest suspension bridge, with a 2,023-meter span between its towers, built by a consortium comprised of South Korea’s SK ecoplant and DL E&C, and Turkey’s Limak and Yapi Merkezi.
Zhang deleted her post following accusations that her tweet was fake news,
The Chinese embassy in Paris has for the time being left the post up on its official Twitter account. Many comments called the post a lie, accusing the diplomats of spreading a falsehood.
There are also accusations that China has exploited a disaster in a foreign country to promote itself.
The Lapseki and Gelibolu regions in the Turkish province of Canakkale, where the bridge is located, are more than 1,000 kilometers away from southern Turkey and northern Syria, where the earthquake took place.
“The distance between the epicenter of the earthquake and Canakkale is wider than between Paris and Berlin,” an online commentator said in response to the tweet from the Chinese embassy in France.
“The Chinese Communist Party only thinks about exploiting the victims.”
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)