Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai has called on parties to follow the rule set by the World Health Organization (WHO) in calling the novel coronavirus by its designated name.
Ambassador Cui made the remark during an interview with Axios on HBO which aired on Sunday.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly used the term "Chinese virus" in reference to COVID-19.
"I'm not [a] spokesperson for the White House. But I think the World Health Organization has a rule. When they name new viruses, they would never give people the impression that the virus is linked somehow to a particular location, particular group of people or even a particular animal," Cui said.
"So hopefully everybody will follow that WHO rule."
Cui also characterized the speculations from both media and diplomats about the origin of the new virus as harmful and doing no good to anyone.
Responding to a question about the alleged China's "cover-up" of the coronavirus situation at the early stage of the outbreak, Cui said it's a process of discovering new kind of virus rather than so called "cover-up."
"The fact is that at the very beginning there was very little knowledge about this new virus. Nobody knew anything about it. You cannot come to the conclusion that just because of a few cases of people running fever, you should alarm the whole world that there is a new kind of virus," Cui said.