Mike Pompeo Attacks China Over Coronavirus

Washington:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the Group of Seven powers were united in opposing China’s coronavirus “disinformation,” but European allies emphasized cooperation to fight the global pandemic.

Foreign ministers from the major industrialized democracies spoke about the crisis by videoconference, scrapping a meeting scheduled in Pittsburgh, but any hope of showing a common front was eroded by the absence of a joint statement.

Pompeo, a sharp critic of Beijing who has gone on the offensive over what he calls the “Wuhan virus,” said he shared a common view with the top diplomats of the other G7 countries — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

“Every one of the nations that were at that meeting this morning was deeply aware of the disinformation campaign that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in to try and deflect from what has really taken place,” Pompeo told reporters.

Pompeo said that China “has been and continues to be engaged in” a campaign through social media that has included conspiracy theories of US involvement.

“This is crazy talk,” he said.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman infuriated President Donald Trump’s administration by suggesting on Twitter that US troops brought the virus to Wuhan, the metropolis where it was first detected late last year.

Scientists widely believe the COVID-19 virus came from a Wuhan meat market that butchered exotic animals.

The virus has killed more than 21,000 people globally,…

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