By Rory Butler For Mailonline
Published: 02:27 BST, 8 May 2020 | Updated: 07:26 BST, 8 May 2020
The European Union has excised reference in a public letter that the coronavirus pandemic originated in China, after receiving pressure to do so from the Chinese foreign ministry.
The European External Action Service was pressured to remove a reference to the 'outbreak of the coronavirus in China' as an explanation for an abandoned EU-China summit.
The opinion piece was published in the state-run China Daily newspaper.
Pictured: An aerial view of the P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China
The EU received pressure to take out the origin claim after accusing the country of spreading falsehoods about coronavirus.
The EU's ambassador to China, Nicolas Chapuis, who co-wrote the opinion piece, said it was 'regrettable' the sentence about the spread of COVID-19 had been 'edited'.
It had been written to mark nearly a half century of diplomatic relations between the European Union and Beijing.
Norbert Röttgen, head of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee, was said to be in shock 'not once but twice', according to a report in The Telegraph.
Adding: 'First the EU