China tells US to stop ‘politicising’ COVID-19

China on Friday told the United States to stop politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on defeating the virus and boosting the economy.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, made the remarks at a daily news briefing after U.S. Defence Secretary, Mark Esper, reportedly said that it is “difficult to believe information from the Communist Party of China’’ and that “they have been misleading the United States and opaque’’.

Lijian said China had taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough prevention and control measures in an open, transparent and responsible way since the COVID-19 outbreak and had actively promoted international cooperation on controlling the pandemic.

“If the U.S. was misled or lacked sufficient information in the early days, how could the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention issue precautions against the novel coronavirus-related disease on Jan. 15?

“Why did the U.S. announce a decision on Jan. 25 to close its consulate in Wuhan and withdraw all its staff?

“Why did it, on Feb. 2, ban the entry of Chinese and other foreign nationals, who had been in China over the last 14 days?” Lijian asked.

Smearing China cannot help the U.S. side to cover up facts and shifting blame cannot drive the virus away, Lijian said, noting that the international community could only win the battle against the pandemic through concerted efforts.

“We urge the U.S. side to focus more on defeating the virus and boosting the economy at an early date,” he said.

Over two million people have been infected by the pandemic across the globe with about 135,000 deaths.

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