China blasts US for no help in virus fight

By Wang Qi and Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/3 17:53:40

Thai policemen pose for a photograph in front of big screens reading in Chinese "Our hearts to Wuhan" placed outside a shopping mall in Bangkok on February 2, 2020. Photo: AFP

Chinese government officials and observers on Monday blasted the US for not offering any concrete help to China to fight the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, but instead overreacted to the epidemic and created chaos by being the first country to withdraw its consular staff from Wuhan, a move which analysts called immoral but not surprising.

The US government hasn't provided any substantive assistance to China, but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers. What it has done could only create and spread fear, which is a very bad example, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks at the ministry's routine press conference which was conducted online amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Even US media and experts doubted the US government's decision, saying that the US government's restrictions on China are precisely what the WHO rejects, that the US is turning from overconfidence to fear and overreaction, and that banning the entry of visitors who traveled to China in the past 14 days is suspected to violate civil rights instead of reducing risks of virus spreading, Hua said. 

Chinese analysts labeled the US government's move as"immoral" and US politicians failed to honor their promises to assist the control of the coronavirus epidemic, a global concern, as of now.

China has been taking the most comprehensive and strict measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many of the measures follow even higher standards than those stated in the International Health Regulations (IHR), which has won acclaim and support from the overwhelming majority of countries around the world, she remarked.

Hua said that China understands and respects the measures taken by other countries recently to strengthen epidemic prevention and inspection upon Chinese citizens' arrival. 

China hopes relevant countries will consider the epidemic situation and China's efforts to curb the spread of disease in an objective and rational manner, and take proper measures in line with the IHR and professional recommendations made by the WHO, to avoid creating unnecessary disruptions to international travels, Hua said. 

Responding to the delay of a second US' flight to Wuhan to evacuate US nationals, Hua said that the US government should arrange flights per the slot availability at the Wuhan airport that is busy accepting supplies for the city's battle against the novel coronavirus.  

Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that these moves from the US authorities are not surprising, as the US government sees China as its most formidable opponent, and views the coronavirus epidemic as an opportunity to gain leverage in containing China's development. 

According to Ni, the US government is acting maliciously under the veil of humanitarianism as its government not only imposed several restrictions on China but also supported the island of Taiwan joining the WHO, a UN organization that only allows the participation from sovereign states.

Ni said future confrontations between the two countries will continue, and there should be no illusions about Washington's intentions.

According to the spokesperson, as of Sunday noon, donation of epidemic prevention and control materials from 11 countries including South Korea, Japan and the UK as well as those from The United Nations Children's Fund have arrived in China. Meanwhile, friendly individuals also extended support to China via different means.

What we need the most at present is medical materials for epidemic prevention, such as medical masks, protective suits and goggles, she said.

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