Envoy says China did not cover up coronavirus, warns US

Ambassador to London urges US, which has accused China of hiding information, to stop acting as ‘world’s policeman’.

Commuters wear protective masks while crossing a street on April 21, 2020 in Shanghai, China [Yves Dean/Getty Images]
Commuters wear protective masks while crossing a street on April 21, 2020 in Shanghai, China [Yves Dean/Getty Images]

China did not cover up the novel coronavirus outbreak and so the United States should not seek to bully the People’s Republic in a manner reminiscent of 19th-century European colonial wars, the Chinese ambassador to London said on Thursday.

“I hear quite a lot of this speculation, this disinformation about China covering up, about China hiding something – this is not true,” Liu Xiaoming said.

“The Chinese government was transparent and very quick to share data.”

He added: “Some other country – their local courts sued China – it is absurd.

“Some politicians, some people, want to play at being the world’s policeman – this is not the era of gunboat diplomacy, this is not the era when China was a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society.

“These people still live in the old days – they think they can bully China, think they can bully the world.

“China is not an enemy of the United States – if they regard China as an enemy they chose the wrong target.”

Tensions between China and the US have grown since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, at the end of last year.

The virus originated in China but quickly spread around the world and heavily impacted other countries such as Iran, Italy, Spain and the US.

Even so, US President Donald Trump has continued to refer to the COVID-19 disease as a “Chinese virus”.

Last week, Trump said that his government was trying to determine whether the virus emanated from a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic emerged in December.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that all available evidence suggests the novel coronavirus originated in animals in China late last year and was not manipulated or produced in a laboratory.

“All available evidence suggests the virus has an animal origin and is not manipulated or constructed in a lab or somewhere else,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a Geneva news briefing.

“It is probable, likely, that the virus is of animal origin.”

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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