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China warned that it is "on the brink of a new Cold War" with the United States

United States President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping (Reuters)
United States President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping (Reuters)

China and the United States are "on the brink of a new Cold War," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned Sunday, who lamented the increase in tension between the two countries due to the covid-19 pandemic.

"Some US political forces are taking China-US relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War.Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters.

Wang did not identify which "forces" he was referring to. The harsh relations between the two powers over trade, human rights and other issues have been exacerbated by the new coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, US President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused the Chinese authorities of having taken too long to communicate crucial data on the severity of the virus, detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan and which has already caused more than 330,000 deaths in the world.

"In addition to the devastation caused by the new coronavirus, a political virus spreads in the United States"Said the chancellor. "This political virus takes every opportunity to attack and defame China"He insisted.

Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister (Reuters)
Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister (Reuters)

The head of Chinese diplomacy stressed that the two main world powers "lose by confrontation" and "win by cooperation" and must find "a way to coexist peacefully", since both "bear great responsibilities" for the maintenance of Peace in the world.

"I appeal to the United States to stop wasting time and stop wasting time valuable livesWang added.

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On the other hand, the chancellor said that China was "open" to international cooperation to identify the source of the new coronavirus, but stressed that any investigation should be "free of political interference."

Both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have accused China of lack of transparency on the matter, and have repeatedly pushed the theory that the virus was leaked from a Chinese maximum security laboratory. Most scientists believe the virus leaped from animals to humans, possibly from a market selling exotic animals for meat in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

"China is open to working with the international scientific community to investigate the source of the virus," Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the Chinese parliament. "At the same time, we believe that this should be professional, fair and constructive," he added.

Wuhan Institute of Virology (AFP)
Wuhan Institute of Virology (AFP)

"Fairness means that the process is free from political interference, respecting the sovereignty of all countries, and opposing any presumption of guilt."

The World Health Organization has also asked Beijing to invite them to investigate the source, and China proposes that the "global response" to COVID-19 be evaluated only when the pandemic has ended.

WHO members adopted a resolution Tuesday at the first virtual meeting of the United Nations agency to review international management of the pandemic.

(With information from AFP)

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