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21 Mar, 2020 01:56

‘US wasted precious time China has bought!’ Beijing shreds Washington over ‘racist’ coronavirus rhetoric

‘US wasted precious time China has bought!’ Beijing shreds Washington over ‘racist’ coronavirus rhetoric

Washington has passed off blame to Beijing for its own failures in addressing the Covid-19 outbreak, China’s Foreign Ministry said, hitting back at the ‘Chinese virus’ rhetoric with the ironic term ‘Trumpandemic.’

“Some people in the United States attempt to stigmatize China's fight against the epidemic and shirk its responsibility to China,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters on Friday, referring to the finger-pointing adopted by President Trump and other top officials (after weeks of US media outlets calling it the 'Chinese' and 'Wuhan' virus).

This practice ignores the huge sacrifices made by the Chinese people to safeguard human health and safety, and denigrates China's major public health security contributions.

Over the last two months, Beijing has helped the US buy time in its efforts to combat the coronavirus by providing “timely information” and other aid, the spokesman said, noting that the US president himself acknowledged as much during a press briefing last week. But most of that assistance has gone to waste, he lamented.

It is a pity, as many US media and specialists have noted, that the US has wasted the precious time China has bought.

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Despite being the only country that has managed to contain the outbreak, China has been accused of suppressing information in the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak – which began in the city of Wuhan late last year. The spokesman insisted the country has taken “the most comprehensive, strictest and most thorough prevention and control measures,” and has been “open” and “transparent” about the virus.

Geng went on to list the numerous joint meetings between American and Chinese health officials in recent weeks, arguing Beijing was doing its part to assist the US response to the lethal illness, but implored Washington to take responsibility for its own shortcomings.

“We hope that the United States will respect objective facts, respect international public opinion, do its own thing... stop slandering other countries, passing on responsibilities, and play a constructive role in fighting the epidemic,” he said.

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While President Trump argues that the phrase "Chinese virus" is “not racist at all,” stating that he uses the term simply because the pathogen “comes from China,” his insistence on the label has piqued the ire of Beijing. In a string of tweets earlier on Friday, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua slammed the moniker as bigoted, and fired back with its own Trumpian term of derision, renaming the outbreak the “Trumpandemic.”

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