China blames United States hawks for risking 'new Cold War'

China blames United States hawks for risking 'new Cold War'

The World Health Organization has also called on Beijing to invite them in to investigate the source, with China proposing instead that the "global response" to COVID-19 should only be assessed when the pandemic is over.

The countries have also clashed over the situation in Hong Kong, as well as territorial disputes in the South China Sea, economic issues, and USA dependency on Chinese resources.

"It has come to our attention that 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", foreign minister Wang Yi told reporters.

State Councillor Wang, speaking at his annual news conference, said China and the United States need to start coordinating macro policies for their respective economies as well as the world economy. "This political virus is using every opportunity to attack and smear China", said Wang, who is also China's foreign minister. "China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation, and lose from confrontation".

On maritime disputes in the South China Sea, Wang blamed rising tensions on the presence of foreign military aircraft and warships - rather than Chinese vessels.

"I want to say here: Don't waste precious time any longer, and don't ignore lives", he said.

"Some political figures in the USA rush to label the virus and politicise its origins, stigmatising China", Wang said.

This includes, most recently, a claim by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro that China "sent hundreds of thousands" of people infected with the virus on planes to "seed" the virus around the world.

"Some US politicians, heedless of basic facts, have fabricated too many lies and plotted too many conspiracies", Wang said.

The Chinese top diplomat asserted that no one can spoil the ties between China and Africa, citing the great solidarity shown by over 50 African leaders to his country during the critical phase of the fight against the pandemic.

Wang on Sunday repeated China's stance that Hong Kong affairs were an internal matter and said the principle of non-interference must be upheld by all countries.

"We will continue to help Africa fight the pandemic, channel anti-epidemic materials as much as possible to developing countries in Africa, and consider sending a new group of medical experts to the region", Wang added.

He said supporting the global health organisation is a choice that any country "with a conscience" would make, adding that WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has done a good job. It should not harm the worldwide cooperation against COVID-19 or undermine the statutory role of the WHO, Wang said.

Mr Pompeo said earlier this month that there was "a significant amount of evidence" that the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan.

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