China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday said the 39 bodies that were discovered in a refrigerated lorry in Essex have yet to be identified as Chinese at this time.
"The British police expressed that the identity of the victims is still being verified. It is not yet possible to confirm whether they were Chinese nationals," spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
"We hope that the British side will confirm the identity of the victims as soon as possible, find out the truth, and severely punish the criminals involved in the case."
The spokesperson added that consular officials from the Embassy in China are working closely with UK authorities and that British police are "still in the process of verification."
When asked by CNN about the possibility of Chinese citizens being illegally trafficked, the question was rebuffed by the spokesperson.
"Chinese people have gained an unprecedented level of gratefulness, safeness, fulfillment and happiness over the past, over the past seven decades," Hua replied.
"If you look around the globe you will find more and more foreign friends wishing to work, study and holiday in China even more they hope live in China for a long time, so I think this is not an appropriate question for you to raise here."