China is open to international cooperation to identify the source of the novel coronavirus but any probe should be “free of political interference”, Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi said Sunday.
China’s top diplomat, Wang heavily criticised the efforts of some US politicians to fabricate rumours and stigmatise China to blame it for the pandemic.
The US is pushing relations with China to “the brink of a new Cold War”, Wang said, rejecting US “lies” over the coronavirus.
He said a “political virus” is spreading in the US causing politicians there to take very opportunity to attack and discredit China.
Defending the newly tabled security legislation on Hong Kong, Wang said it would target a narrow category of acts and would have no impact on the city’s freedoms or rights, or interests of foreign firms.
Instead of being more worried, people should be more confident of Hong Kong’s stability, he said.
Speaking at his annual news conference on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the National People’s Conference (NCP), China’s legislature, Wang touched upon wide range of topics including ties with the US, Russia and Japan and on international cooperation during the ongoing pandemic.
Not surprisingly, he came out most strongly on ties with the US, saying a “political virus” was at play.
“This political virus uses every opportunity to attack and discredit China. Some politicians have ignored the most basic facts and created too many lies and plotted too many conspiracies against China,” Wang said.
“Unfortunately, in addition to the raging of the new coronavirus, a political virus is also spreading in the US. This political virus is to use every opportunity to attack and discredit China. Some politicians have ignored the most basic facts and made too many lies and plotted too many conspiracies against China,” he said.
Wang’s comments come in the backdrop of rising tension between Beijing and Washington on a host of issues including the pandemic, Hong Kong’s political status and sale of US arms to Taiwan.
Beijing and Washington engaged in a back-and -forth after the US criticised China’s handling of the outbreak, suggesting that it had come from a laboratory in Wuhan where the virus emerged late last year.
He said China and the US need to start coordinating macro policies for their respective economies as well as the world economy.
The US should stop wasting precious time, said Wang.
China remains prepared to work with the US in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, he said.
China, he said was open “…the international scientific community’s cooperation in virus tracing research. At the same time, we believe that this process should adhere to professionalism, fairness and constructiveness”.
The investigation should be led by WHO scientists, he said.
More than 12 billion masks have been exported to the US, which is equivalent to providing nearly 40 masks for each American, he said.
Wang said China “launched the largest global emergency humanitarian operation in the history of New China” during the pandemic.
He said China had provided emergency assistance to nearly 150 countries and exported 56.8 billion masks and 250 million pieces of protective clothing to the world.