China‘s ambassador to Canada is insisting his country is being victimized by a campaign of disinformation about its role in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The claim, however, comes amid growing criticism of China’s handling of the crisis and accusations that its own diplomats are circulating false information designed to cover up their handling of early spread.

In an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson airing on Sunday, Cong Peiwu says reports of Chinese intimidation and aggression against countries raising questions about its handling of the pandemic are not true and that his country wants a “foreign policy of peace.”

That comes after China blocked some imports of beef from Australia after that country called for an inquiry into its handling of the crisis, an apparent follow-through on previous Chinese threats.

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“We are engaged in friendly exchange with other countries so there’s no things like bullying other countries,” Cong said.

“Rather, China is a victim not only of the disease itself but also of disinformation.”

China first reported cases of an unknown new illness to the World Health Organization on Dec.