Pompeo: China Withholding Vital Coronavirus Information from Rest of World
U.S. Secretary of State Slams Chinese Communist Party
The Chinese Communist Party is denying the world important information on the deadly coronavirus, putting the world at risk in tackling the epidemic, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.
Pompeo reiterated his previous statements saying Beijing’s delay in sharing information about the coronavirus has created a considerable risk to the global community, and this had “truly put thousands of lives at risk.”
He added that China's handling of the crisis illustrated the tendencies of the single-party Communist state’s authoritarian.
“My concern is that this cover-up, this disinformation that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in, is still denying the world the information it needs so that we can prevent further cases or something like this from recurring again,” he added, Reuters reported.
Pompeo also accused Russia and Iran of spreading disinformation.
“The disinformation campaign from Russia and Iran as well as China continues,” he said.
“They’re talking about it coming from the U.S. Army, and they’re saying maybe it began in Italy, all things to deflect responsibility.”
This isn't the first time China has been accused of being economical with the truth.
Earlier this month, Neon Nettle reported the Chinese ambassador was summoned by the US State Department after a spokesperson with China’s foreign ministry suggested coronavirus was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military.
Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell called in the Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai for the country's “blatant, global” disinformation on the virus.
Pompeo also described how China had stonewalled many efforts by the global community to get a grasp on the pandemic:
We have had an incredibly difficult time getting professional medical people in. You’ll recall early on; we offered to have America’s finest experts to travel there to assist them, to assist the World Health Organization. We weren’t permitted in. These are the kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party has done that had put the world and the world’s people at risk. They haven’t been sufficiently transparent, and the risk, Sean, that you find, where if we don’t get this right, if we don’t get to the bottom of this, is this could — this could be something that’s repeatable, maybe not in this form, maybe not on this way, but transparency matters.
Disinformation is not only coming from random actors around the world - but also from the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, and the Iranian regime. We must not permit these efforts to undermine our democracy, our freedom, and how we're responding to the Wuhan Virus. pic.twitter.com/WtB2Isrkkf— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 20, 2020
Pompeo also signaled consequences down the track for China and its intransigence.
“The time will come for recriminations,” he said.
“This is an ongoing global crisis, and we need to make sure that every country today is being transparent, sharing what’s really going on, so that the global community, the global health care, infectious disease community can begin to work on this in a holistic way.”
Pompeo added that “very important decisions” would be made in the future on the U.S and China's relationship.
He also stated that global supply-chain impacts in the United States were due to companies “operating their supply chains out of China but not here in the United States.”
On Tuesday, a Chinese news outlet blew the whistle claiming the ruling Communist Party (CPC) was "faking" its miraculous recovery from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Beijing-based Caixin made the high-risk accusation earlier this month, claiming that China is far from recovered.
The newspaper states that “local governments are faking coronavirus recovery.”
The paper cites business insiders across the country that claim to be unable to fill quotas set by the government.