China government spokesman says USA military may have bought virus to China

China government spokesman says USA military may have bought virus to China

"U.S. owe us an explanation!" he concluded. Zhao wrote on Twitter.

He doubled down on his claim on Friday by posting a link to an article from a website known for publishing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.

China has declined to distance itself from the accusations made by a foreign ministry spokesman alleging U.S. involvement in the coronavirus epidemic, arguing that opinions vary on how the health crisis started.

"It might be United States army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan", Zhao Lijian, a foreign ministry spokesman, said in a tweet.

China's intention in promoting the conspiracy theory is "to divert from domestic discontent" over the handling of the outbreak, which has killed more than 3,100 people in the country. In a tweet, Zhao shared a video of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield apparently disclosing that the USA had several deaths from coronavirus before they were able to test for it. "What are the names of the hospitals?" he tweeted.

China's foreign ministry had earlier rejected Pompeo's assertion of "Wuhan virus" and rejected the term as "despicable" and "disrespecting science". "And shockingly ignorant too", Rice tweeted at Zhao. "For example, how many people one person can infect once they have the virus?"

"Although the epidemic first broke out in China, it did not necessarily mean that the virus originated from China, let alone 'made in China, '" he tweeted.

Recently, Washington has played the blame game by pointing fingers at China over the outbreak, as USA officials continue to remind people of COVID-19's origin.

The United States, meanwhile, has angered China by using language directly linking the virus to the country.

This was met with disagreement from world over - with Australian National University researcher Yun Jiang calling Trump administration's emphasis on the virus' origin in China "part of his dog-whistling politics".

He said China had "cost the world community two months to respond" to the epidemic, which has now killed almost 5,000 people and infected more than 130,000 worldwide.

In comments at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien described China's response to the virus as a coverup, saying Beijing's response had cost the worldwide community months that could have been used to prepare for the coronavirus, Axios reported.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Thursday called OBrien's remarks "extremely immoral and also irresponsible".

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