US pushing ties to brink of 'new Cold War': China

China on Sunday accused the United States of pushing the bilateral ties to the brink of a "new Cold War" by spreading "lies" about the coronavirus and said it was open to international efforts to identify the source of the deadly virus.


          
Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said the lawsuits filed against China in the US demanding compensation for COVID-19 is an attempt to blackmail a victim with fabricated evidence.
         
Under constant attack from US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the origin of the coronavirus and failure to provide timely information, Wang launched a broadside against Washington in his annual press conference.
         
He accused American politicians of spreading "political virus" to smear China. 
         
"It is the most regrettable that while the coronavirus is still out there, a 'political virus' is also spreading in the US and jumping at any opportunity to attack and slander China," he said in a video media conference on the sidelines of China's annual session of the National People's Conference.
         
"Some political forces in the US are taking China-US relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War," Wang said.
         
Some politicians ignored the basic facts and made up countless lies and conspiracy theories concerning China.
         
"The longer the list, the more it says about how low the rumour-mongers are willing to go and the more stains they will leave in history," Wang, who is also the State Councillor, said.  
         
He was scathingly critical of especially the lawsuits against China.
         
A lawsuit was filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt against the Chinese government, the ruling Communist Party of China, and other Chinese officials and institutions in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
         
It alleges that during the critical weeks of the initial coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed crucial information, arrested whistle-blowers, destroyed critical medical research and permitted millions of people to be exposed to the virus, causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable.
         
Observers say the Missouri lawsuit could pose a problem to China given the US courts' claim of universal jurisdiction.
         
Asked whether Beijing is concerned that China's overseas assets could be seized, Wang said "some people are clamouring for so-called accountability and compensation from a victim of COVID-19. 
         
"They are fabricating so-called evidence for frivolous lawsuits. These people are tramping on international rule of law and betraying human conscience," he said. 
         
"If anybody thought they could use some ludicrous lawsuits to undermine China's sovereignty and dignity to deprive the Chinese people their hard-won gains they will be daydreaming and bring disgrace to themselves," he said.
           
He also struck a reconciliatory note saying that both the US and China should work together.
         
The COVID-19 pandemic is the common enemy of China and the US and it is the shared wish of the people of the two nations to support and help each other.
         
China and the US should share the experience of the epidemic fight and learn from each other to boost their respective responses, Wang said. -- PTI




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