lørdag 16. mai 2020

China hits back at so-called coronavirus 'lies' by US politicians as war of words escalates

China has struck back at what it calls "24 lies" by US politicians in the most sweeping and detailed rebuke yet of accusations over its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak. An 11,000-word article posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website on Saturday gave a point-by-point rebuttal of the 24 "preposterous allegations and lies" that it said were fabricated by US politicians and media outlets to "shift the blame to China for their inadequate response to Covid-19."

The article was also carried Sunday by Xinhua, China's government-run news agency, and shared by its official account on Twitter. The lengthy refutation is the latest attempt by Beijing to defend its handling of the outbreak, as it comes under international scrutiny over its handling of the virus and faces mounting calls for an independent inquiry.

In recent weeks, the US has doubled down on blaming China for the spread of the virus, accusing it of withholding important information -- especially in the critical early stages of the outbreak -- and questioning its death toll. US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have also claimed, without providing evidence, that the virus originated from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported last December.