China targets US coronavirus response

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China is fighting back against calls for an investigation into its role in the global coronavirus pandemic, citing faults with the U.S. response to the outbreak and calling for Washington itself to admit error.

We hope the U.S. will respond to people’s concern from the U.S. and the international community. Perhaps the World Health Organization can also be invited in to assist in the investigation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing on Monday.

President Donald Trump says he is suspending payments to the WHO, of which the U.S. is the largest funder, saying it has responded weakly to the pandemic and shown a pro-China bias.

China, where the virus was first detected late last year, has strenuously denied accusations from the U.S. and others that it suppressed information about the outbreak, allowing it to spread far wider than it might have, and delaying responses from other countries.

Also Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency ran a commentary accusing U.S. Republican politicians of seeking to gain political points by attacking China over the pandemic.

The U.S. conservatives’ moves to cover up their own failures by shifting blame and public attention will only harm those still struggling in the pandemic and render the global fight much harder, Xinhua said.

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