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China strongly refutes Trump accusation of coronavirus 'mass killing'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian packs up his notes after speaking at the daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8, 2020.(Photo by AFP)

China has strongly refuted recent accusations by US President  Donald Trump that Beijing authorities were responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing "mass worldwide killing". 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Thursday insisted that his country did its best to protect lives during the pandemic. 

China has "always had an open, transparent and responsible attitude", he said.

"We have persisted in speaking the truth, presenting the truth and speaking with reason, doing our utmost to protect the lives and health of the people," he added.  

His remarks came as the United States continued a war of words. 

Trump has since made attacking Beijing a centerpiece of his November re-election bid, alleging that China covered up the initial outbreak of the virus.

The most recent comments were part of a flurry of his tweets. 

"Some wacko in China just released a statement blaming everybody other than China for the virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people," he tweeted.

"Please explain to this dope that it was the 'incompetence of China', and nothing else, that did this mass worldwide killing!"

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also claimed that there was "enormous evidence" showing the new coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab, even as he has failed to produce it.

China has strongly denied suggestions that the lab was the source. Beijing has also rejected a claim by the US Department of Homeland Security about the coronavirus and urged the US to stop spreading false information and to concentrate on its domestic problems.

A recent report from the United States Department of Homeland Security said China withheld information about the severity of the outbreak and delayed notifying the World Health Organization that the disease was infectious in order to hoard medical supplies.

Trump has threatened new tariffs and shifting supply chains away from China amid his criticism of Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

China warns of 'countermeasures'  

The spokesman for the Chinese parliament said Thursday Beijing will retaliate if the US Congress passes legislation seeking sanctions against China.

"We firmly oppose these bills, and will make a firm response and take countermeasures based on the deliberation of these bills," Zhang Yesui said.

"It is neither responsible nor moral to cover up one's own problems by blaming others. We will never accept any unwarranted lawsuits and demands for compensation." 

Last week, Republican senators proposed legislation that would empower Trump to slap sanctions on China if Beijing did not give a "full accounting" for the outbreak.

China has accused American politicians of telling “barefaced lies”, saying the US aims to divert public attention from its own mishandling. 

 A new study said nearly a fifth of young children in the United States are not getting enough to eat since the coronavirus pandemic erupted, highlighting the broader health impact of the crisis.

The Brookings Institution report said a survey found that 17.4 percent of mothers with children aged 12 or under reported that their offspring were not eating enough due to lack of money.

The coronavirus has infected nearly 1.58 million people in the United States and killed more than 93,806 as of early Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.

EU Ambassador to China Nicolas Chapuis recently said that rising Sino-US tension is problematic and undermines the broad multinational cooperation needed to deal with the pandemic.

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