China on Thursday suggested that the Coronavirus might have been brought to the United States by the United States Military.
Spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry implied that the US Military have brought the coronavirus to the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been hardest hit by the outbreak, doubling down on a war of words with Washington.
China has taken great offence at comments by US officials accusing it of being slow to react to the virus, first detected in Wuhan late last year, and of not being sufficiently transparent.
On Wednesday, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the speed of China’s reaction to the emergence of the coronavirus had probably cost the world two months when it could have been preparing for the outbreak.
In a strongly worded tweet, written in English on his verified Twitter account, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it was the United States that lacked transparency.
“When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!” Zhao wrote.
Zhao, an avid and often combative Twitter user, did not offer any evidence for his suggestion that the US military might be to blame for the outbreak in China.
Earlier on Thursday, his fellow ministry spokesman Geng Shuang criticised US officials for “immoral and irresponsible” comments that blamed Beijing’s response to the coronavirus for worsening the global impact of the pandemic.
Asked about O’Brien’s comments, Geng told a daily news briefing in Beijing that such remarks by US officials would not help US epidemic efforts.
China’s efforts to slow the spread had bought the world time to prepare against the epidemic, he added.
“We wish that a few officials in the US would at this time concentrate their energy on responding to the virus and promoting cooperation, and not on shifting the blame to China.”
The coronavirus emerged in December in Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province, where around two-thirds of global cases so far have been recorded. But in recent weeks the vast majority of new cases have been outside China.
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