Chinese Foreign Ministry: Coronavirus Could Be Brought to China by the US Military

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Beijing officials outraged by commentary made by Donald Trump’s adviser, accusing China of responding too slowly to an outbreak.

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry suggested on Thursday that the coronavirus causing COVID-19 could have been brought into Wuhan by the US military.

Chinese authorities were offended by comments from US officials who accused Beijing of responding slowly to the outbreak of coronavirus and of lack of transparency in reporting on efforts to fight the virus.

On Wednesday, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said the speed with which Chinese authorities reacted to the appearance of coronavirus could have cost the world two months to prepare for an epidemic.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, tweeted that transparency is lacking in the United States actions.

“When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!” Zhao tweeted.

Zhao did not provide his statement with any evidence in favor of a charge against the US military, which, in his opinion, could be guilty of an outbreak in China.

Earlier Thursday, another spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Geng Shuang, criticized US authorities for ‘immoral and irresponsible” comments about Beijing's slow reaction to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Replying to a journalist’s question about the comments made by O'Brien at a press briefing in Beijing, Geng said Washington’s statements would not help the US authorities fight the epidemic. He added that thanks to the efforts of Beijing, the world had enough time to prepare for the appearance of the virus.

“We would like some US administration staff to concentrate their energy on fighting the virus and enhancing cooperation, rather than shifting the blame to China,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

The first victims of coronavirus in late December were residents of Chinese Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province, where about two-thirds of coronavirus infections have been reported as of today. However, in recent weeks, the vast majority of new infections have occurred outside of China.

“Unfortunately, rather than using best practices, this outbreak in Wuhan was covered up,” O’Brien, Trump’s national security adviser, said on Wednesday in Washington.

“It probably cost the world community two months to respond” – the time during which “we could have dramatically curtailed what happened in China and what’s now happening across the world.”

So far, 135,781 cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in the world, including 80,793 cases in China and 1,336 cases in the USA. Almost 5,000 people worldwide became victims of the virus.