China Accuses US Of ‘Inciting Panic’ Over Coronavirus Outbreak
Over the weekend, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying expressed outrage that some countries halted trade and flights to and from the country because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Now Hua is back out bashing the US on Monday for allegedly intentionally spreading fear following the outbreak, reported Reuters.
She said the US was the first country to withdraw embassy staff from the Wuhan region, and first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers (though we’re not certain that’s true).
She also accused the US of failing to follow through with promised assistance.
“The U.S. government hasn’t provided any substantial assistance to us, but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Monday.
#ChinaVirus — Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying actually BLAMES #US for “spreading fear” about #coronavirus by withdrawing their diplomatic staff & banning travelers from #China, instead of “offering any assistance”.
— @Dystopia – #HongKong is NOT China (@Dystopia992) February 3, 2020
During the briefing, she continued to single out the US for stoking fear and offering no significant assistance to support efforts to curb the outbreak (despite the fact that the Trump Administration has offered to send supplies AND personnel).
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency during its third straight day of emergency meetings in Switzerland last week. However, seemingly at the behest of the Chinese government, officials stressed that global trade and flights to China shouldn’t be halted.
“It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations,” Hua said.
Meanwhile, Hua added over the weekend that the travel restrictions announced by the US last week were “certainly not a gesture of goodwill.”
Looking ahead, we wonder whether this animosity will in any way impact China’s $200 billion in promised purchases of American agricultural products under the phase one trade agreement.