File photo Photograph:( Reuters )
The Chinese foreign ministry has dedicated most of its press briefings to rejecting accusations by US politicians that said China had withheld information about the new coronavirus and that it had originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan. A 30-page, 11,000-word article posted on the ministry website on Saturday night added to these refutations.
China has issued a lengthy rebuttal of what it said were 24 lies by some leading US politicians over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Ever since the deadly virus broke out in China's Wuhan in December last year, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been terming it the "Chinese virus" or "Wuhan virus", holding Beijing solely responsible for the global crisis.
To this end, the Chinese foreign ministry has dedicated most of its press briefings to rejecting accusations by US politicians that said China had withheld information about the new coronavirus and that it had originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan.
A 30-page, 11,000-word article posted on the ministry website on Saturday night added to these refutations. It began by invoking Abraham Lincoln, the 19th century US president.
The article also cited documents from the World Health Organisation to say the name of a virus should not be country-specific.
"As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time," it said in the prologue.
The article said that all evidence shows the virus is not man-made and that the institute is not capable of synthesising a new coronavirus.
Despite China's repeated assurances, concerns about the timeliness of its information have persisted in several parts of the world.
The article hence also provided a timeline of how China had provided information to the international community in a timely, open and transparent manner to rebuke US suggestions that it had been slow to sound the alarm.
The article also rejected Western criticism of Beijing's handling of the case of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor who had tried to raise the alarm over the outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan. His death from COVID-19 prompted an outpouring of rage and grief across China.
It ministry article said Li was not a "whistleblower" and he was never arrested, contrary to many Western reports.
China faces a rising wave of hostility in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that could tip relations with the United States into confrontation.
The deadly virus, which first showed signs in China's Wuhan city, has so far infected more than 4 million people globally and caused more than 2,80,000 deaths.
Italy, Spain, the UK and the US are worst-hit in the pandemic.