China tells the US to mind its own business after Pentagon chief criticised Beijing over coronavirus | Daily Mail Online

China has hit back at the US telling it to mind its own business after the chief of Pentagon accused Beijing of misleading Washington and being opaque about the coronavirus pandemic.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said he does not trust that the Chinese leaders are being truthful about the global crisis even now.

Beijing today condemned the US over Esper’s comments, urging America to stop its political spin and spend more energy on the disease outbreak and its economy.

The news comes as Wuhan today revised up its death toll by 50 per cent, revealing that nearly 4,000 people, instead of 2,579, have died from the illness in the area.

Zhao Lijian (pictured on April 8), a spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, grilled US politicians and told them to focus on their own problems at a daily briefing on Friday

Zhao’s criticism comes after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper (pictured in an NBC show) accused Beijing of misleading Washington and being opaque about the coronavirus outbreak

China has revised the death toll in coronavirus ground-zero Wuhan, revealing that nearly 4,000 people have died from the illness in the area. The file picture from January 24 shows people wearing face masks queuing to see doctors at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan

Continuing the Trump administration’s criticism of China’s handling of the virus outbreak, Esper told NBC’s ‘Today’ show on Thursday that he finds it difficult to believe information from the Chinese Communist Party.

‘They’ve been misleading us, they’ve been opaque if you will from the early days of this virus. So I don’t have much faith that they’re even being truthful with us now,’ he said.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, grilled US politicians at a daily briefing in Beijing on Friday.

He accused American leaders of covering up the truth of the pandemic and shifting its responsibilities by stigmatising China.

The official highlighted the ‘open, transparent and responsible’ attitude from China and praised the country’s ‘most comprehensive, strictest and most rigorous’ prevention measures.

Wuhan officials today said many fatal cases were ‘mistakenly reported’ or missed entirely in an admission that comes amid growing global doubts about Chinese transparency. Medical workers are pictured ready to swab samples from people for COVID-19 in Wuhan on April 16

Coronaviruses are so named because their structure has jagged edges which look like a royal crown – corona is crown in Latin (Pictured, an illustration of the COVID-19 virus released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Zhao slammed Washington for linking the coronavirus to a virus lab in Wuhan.

‘Anybody with any sense would know that [America’s] aim is to muddy the waters, divert people’s attention and evade its responsibilities.’

He stressed that the origin of a virus is a scientific problem and needs professional opinions.

Esper’s scepticism about the Chinese came in the wake of reports that the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan laboratory, not as a bioweapon, but as part of bungling experiments to prove that Chinese scientists were superior to Americans in identifying emerging virus threats.

Donald Trump (pictured on Wednesday) said the US was trying to determine whether or not the coronavirus first crossed to humans accidentally during experiments with bats in Wuhan

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his government was ‘doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation.’ US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese ‘need to come clean’ on what they know.

But Zhao told a daily briefing yesterday that WHO officials ‘have said multiple times there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory.’

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday rejected as counterproductive attempts to blame Beijing for delaying informing the world about the coronavirus, the Kremlin said.

Putin and Xi spoke after US President Donald Trump’s administration berated China for not sharing data more quickly.

China’s President Xi Jinping (R) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, pictured November 2019, spoke after the US criticised China for not sharing information on the virus more quickly

Political tensions between China and the US have escalated after the two countries accused each other of being the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.

Zhao last month claimed on Twitter that the virus might have been brought to Wuhan by the US military.

He defended his accusation as ‘a reaction to some US politicians stigmatising China’.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has killed more than 145,000 people and infected over two million worldwide since the crisis began in Wuhan last December.

China tells the US to mind its own business after Pentagon chief criticised Beijing over coronavirus

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