Coronavirus: Pompeo urges top Chinese diplomat on full transparency on virus outbreak

Pompeo delivers remarks on the current state of the coronavirus disease during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, US, March 17, 2020. (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday stressed to China’s top diplomat the need for full transparency and information sharing to fight against the coronavirus outbreak, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

In a telephone conversation with Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, Pompeo talked about the “high importance” the Unites States attached to China’s facilitation of medical supply exports to meet critical demand in the United States.

The phone call came after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday decided to pull funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) which it accused of being “China-centric.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that Yang told Pompeo it was crucial for Washington and Beijing to properly manage their relations during the coronavirus pandemic and that he hoped the United States would meet China halfway, focus on cooperation and help to promote bilateral relations.

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Washington and Beijing have been at loggerheads over the coronavirus pandemic and Pompeo has repeatedly used harsh rhetoric against China, accusing Beijing of covering up the scale of the outbreak in the early days and not sharing accurate data.

China insists it has been transparent about the pandemic and has sharply criticized US officials who cast doubt on that.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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