China did not hide coronavirus information: Chinese envoy

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China did not cover up the novel coronavirus outbreak and so the US should not seek to bully the People’s Republic in a manner reminiscent of the 19th century European colonial wars, the Chinese ambassador to London said on Thursday.

“I hear quite a lot of this speculation, this disinformation about China covering up, about China hiding something - this is not true,” Liu Xiaoming said. “The Chinese government was transparent and very quick to share data.”

“Some other country - their local courts sued China - it is absurd,” he said. “Some politicians, some people, want to play at being the world’s policeman - this is not the era of gunboat diplomacy, this is not the era when China was a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society.”

“These people still live in the old days - they think they can bully China, think they can bully the world,” Liu said.

“China is not an enemy of the US - if they regard China as an enemy they chose the wrong target.”

US President Donald Trump and members of his White House Coronavirus Task Force have accused China of circulating disinformation about the virus.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday pressed China to allow inspectors into sensitive laboratories, voicing concern about their security amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Pompeo has refused to rule out that the deadly virus leaked out of a laboratory in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan, a scenario strenuously denied by Beijing.

“You have to remember -- these labs are still open inside of China these labs that contain complex pathogens that were being studied. It’s not just the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Pompeo told reporters.

He renewed concerns that China has not shared a sample of the initially detected virus, known scientifically as SARS-CoV-2.

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