World Trump blames China for 'mass Worldwide killing'
U.S. sails warship near Taiwan a week ahead of presidential inauguration
U.S. sails warship near Taiwan a week ahead of presidential inaugurationChina, which considers Taiwan its territory, has been angered by the Trump administration's strong support for the island, such as increased arms sales. Beijing-Washington ties have also been buffeted by fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday again lashed out at China over the coronavirus pandemic, blaming Beijing for "mass Worldwide killing."
His early morning tweet, which also referred to an unidentified "wacko in China," was the latest heated rhetoric from the White House, where Trump is making attacks on Beijing a centerpiece of his November reelection bid.
"It was the 'incompetence of China', and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing," the president tweeted.
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The virus first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December and spread rapidly around the world, killing more than 323,000 people at the latest count, and triggering huge economic damage.
Trump initially played down the seriousness of the threat and said repeatedly he believed China was addressing the outbreak.
He later pivoted to blaming China for allowing the international spread.
The White House has also suggested, without offering evidence so far, that the virus originated in a laboratory and was accidentally released.
Trump has made repeated but vague threats of retaliation against the chief US economic rival.
He has also threatened to break off US funding to the World Health Organization over what he says was its assistance to China in covering up the extent of the outbreak.
China says stable bilateral relations in best interests of China, U.S.
China says stable bilateral relations in best interests of China, U.S.Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that the U.S. needs to cooperate with China in order to achieve stable relations, however.
The diplomatic rift is rapidly opening just after Trump had been celebrating a truce in his trade war with China and comes after months of effusive praise for his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Tempers are also fraying in China, where foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian previously provoked Washington's ire by promoting a conspiracy theory that the virus was first brought to China by the US military.
Pushing back at Trump's WHO critcism, Zhao on Wednesday highlighted what he called the "many mistakes and loopholes on the US side, their lies and rumors."
"The US has seemingly forgotten that in the past, US leaders have repeatedly and publicly praised China's anti-epidemic work," Zhao said.
Zhao blamed US politicians "who want to shift the blame but can't shift it away."
During a phone call with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Xi also appeared to swipe at the United States.
Coronavirus: Over 5 million cases worldwide, acceleration in Latin America
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-WORLD: Coronavirus: Over 5 million cases worldwide, acceleration in Latin America © Reuters / VICENTE GAIBOR DEL PINO CORONAVIRUS : MORE THAN 5 MILLION CASES IN THE WORLD, ACCELERATION IN LATIN AMERICA (Reuters) - More than five million people have now been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide and Latin America is now recording the higher number of new cases, ahead of the United States and Europe.
"Xi emphasised that China opposes actions that interfere with international anti-epidemic cooperation and harm the world's –- and especially developing countries' -- efforts to fight the pandemic," state news agency Xinhua reported.
"China is willing to continue to work with the international community, including Bangladesh, to support the WHO's leadership role, promote international joint prevention and control cooperation, and safeguard global public health security," Xi said.
But US secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a news conference on Wednesday that the COVID-19 crisis had ended US illusions of close ties with China, saying "we greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations."
Pompeo, a close Trump ally, said China was led by a "brutal, authoritarian regime."
"The Chinese Communist Party's response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan has accelerated our more realistic understanding of Communist China," he said.
"Today, as we all sit here this morning, Beijing continues to deny investigators access to relevant facilities, to withhold live virus samples, to censor discussion on the pandemic within China and much, much more."
Senate GOP chairman criticizes Trump withdrawal from WHO .
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Friday that he disagrees with President Trump's decision to end U.S. membership in the World Health Organization (WHO), adding a prominent Republican voice to criticism of the move from health experts and Democrats. "I disagree with the president's decision," Alexander said in a statement.