"CNN is a network that reports the news in an objective and balanced fashion. However, as part of our coverage, we also employ commentators who provide robust opinions that generate debate".
The network also said Cafferty was offering his "strongly held" opinion of the Chinese government, not China's people, adding that he clarified the point on Monday.
The statement failed to assuage the feelings of many Chinese netizens, who think the "apology" lacks sincerity.
"The CNN statement in no way can be interpreted as an apology. I don't see any sincerity in that. It tried to defend its insulting remarks," said one posting on China Daily's website. "We demand a formal and sincere apology," it added.
A netizen named "Get it straight" said "the insult to the Chinese government was also an insult to all Chinese people".
"It does not change the racist and hostile nature of the comments," the netizen added.
Ding Gang, a commentator at People's Daily, said Cafferty's words reminded him of the Chinese Exclusion Act passed in the United States in 1882.
The act barred Chinese laborers from entering the United States and denied them naturalization following large-scale anti-Chinese protests in the 1870s.
"Though the US Congress abolished the act in 1943, racial discrimination is still deeply rooted in the minds of some people like Cafferty," Ding wrote on the People's Daily website.
(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2008)