US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again targeted China over COVID-19 saying the United States “strongly believe” the Beijing did not report the coronavirus outbreak in a timely manner to the World Health Organisation (WHO). During a news briefing, Pompeo said that it was an obligation for China to notify the WHO of any unusual or unexpected public health events such as SARS.
The top diplomat accused China of covering the dangerous nature of the disease and not reporting the sustained human-to-human transmission until it was spread in every province of China. He also added that China not only halted the testing of new samples but also destroyed the existing samples.
However, Pompeo welcomed China’s provision of essential medical supplies exposing US' reliance on Beijing for it. He said that the United States is counting on China to continue to live up to its contractual obligations and international obligations to provide assistance.
“The good news is we have seen China provide those resources; sometimes they’re from U.S. companies that are there in China, but we’ve had success...We appreciate that” he added.
The US-China relation has turned even more bitter after the virus outbreak with accusations flying thick and fast. The US state of Missouri has even filed a civil lawsuit against China seeking an unspecified amount in reparations for the damage. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement the Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, China’s ambassador to the United States has taken a veiled swipe at US President Donald Trump for making “groundless accusations” and ignoring scientific expertise. Speaking at a webcast event, Ambassador Cui Tiankai said that some politicians are so preoccupied in their efforts for stigmatisation and groundless accusations that they pay little attention to the views of the scientists.
I do hope we can learn a good lesson this time and China-U.S. relation be based on a more realistic and forward-looking foundation. https://t.co/ycPH4wDBJ4— Cui Tiankai (@AmbCuiTiankai) April 22, 2020
(Image Credit: AP)