China’s foreign minister has accused the US of spreading “conspiracies and lies” about the coronavirus, ratcheting up tensions between the two nations.
The US has been infected by a “political virus” that compels some politicians to repeatedly attack China, Wang Yi told reporters on Sunday.
He urged the US to “stop wasting time and stop wasting precious lives” in its response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have escalated as the virus has spread.
US President Donald Trump, who faces re-election this year and has been criticised for his handling of the pandemic, has blamed China for trying to cover up the outbreak.
But on Sunday, Mr Wang repeated China’s assertions that it had acted responsibly to safeguard global public health since the virus first emerged in December.
What else did China say?
Speaking at an annual news conference during China’s parliamentary session, Mr Wang said that “some political forces in the US are taking China-US relations hostage”.
He did not specify what those forces were, but said they were “pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War”.