In response to a group of Chinese citizens being arrested on charges of planting diseased chile pepper seeds in Indonesia, the Chinese embassy in Indonesia issued a statement this week denying that China was using chile pepper seeds as biological weapons.
According to Shanghaiist, four Chinese citizens had planted chile seeds imported from China on a farm south of Jakarta, and those seeds were infected with a bacteria that could have spread to other plants and caused crop failures. After the disease was discovered, the seeds were burned and the plants that contained the bacteria were destroyed, but news soon hit social media.
People started theorizing that the seeds had been known to be infected, and that they were planted deliberately as part of a Chinese plot to use the plant disease as a biological weapon to ruin Indonesian crops and destroy the country’s economy.
The Chinese embassy issued an official statement denying the allegations and asserting that China was in no way using infected chile seeds as biological weapons to hurt Indonesia’s economy.
“We hope that the bilateral relations and friendship between the people of China and Indonesia will not be affected by this matter,” the embassy said in the statement.