China Blames Australia for Copying US, Blaming Beijing for Pandemic
Story Code : 858266
China’s Embassy in Canberra said Australian officials were “parroting” US President Donald Trump and other high-level American officials blaming China for the pandemic.
“It is well known that recently some people in the US including high-level officials have been spreading anti-China ‘information virus,’” a statement from the Chinese embassy said late on Tuesday. “These days, certain Australian politicians are keen to parrot what those Americans have asserted and simply follow them in staging political attacks on China.”
On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that, in a phone call with Trump, he had sought US support for launching an international investigation into the coronavirus pandemic.
Morrison accused China of failing to alert the world to the risks of the coronavirus in a timely and transparent fashion, resulting in economic damage to Australia.
Morrison’s office said he had also spoken about the issue on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The new coronavirus, which has afflicted some 2.56 million people around the world and killed nearly 177,500 others, first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year. The US administration has recently been insinuating that the virus was artificially synthesized in a laboratory in Wuhan. The lab facing the accusation has dismissed the claim as a conspiracy theory.
It is widely believed that Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, is trying to blame Beijing and deflect from the shortcomings of his own response to the pandemic. In a matter of weeks, the US has become the country the worst hit by the pandemic in the world, in large part due to the Trump administration’s inadequate response.
Meanwhile, the US state of Missouri on Tuesday filed the first court lawsuit against China over the pandemic, claiming that Beijing’s late release of the news of the outbreak had led to the devastation of Missouri’s economy.
This is while China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) of the then-mysterious virus in December, shortly after it emerged in Wuhan.
In a related development, China’s ambassador to the US said the accusations that China was to blame for the pandemic were “groundless” and distracted the public from scientific information about the virus.
Ambassador Cui Tiankai took a thinly-veiled swipe at Trump and some other American politicians for their attempts to blame China for the global pandemic. The Chinese diplomat accused Trump of politicizing the deadly pandemic to benefit from it.
“What worries me is indeed lack of transparency, not in terms of science, not in terms of medical treatment, but in terms of some of the political developments, especially here in the United States,” Cui warned.
Last month, the US State Department summoned Cui to protest comments by Beijing suggesting that the US military might have brought the coronavirus to China.