The spokesman’s comments come as US officials and lawmakers step up a rhetorical assault on Beijing, with both major parties issuing talking points to members instructing them to shift public discussion about the virus to attacks on China. US President Donald Trump has also taken to slamming Beijing in recent weeks, increasingly accusing the country of “covering up” its coronavirus outbreak with help from the World Health Organization (WHO), while also refusing to dismiss rumors that the pathogen may have escaped from a Chinese laboratory.
Insisting that any effort to pin responsibility on his country would fail, Geng said both the US and China had been “victims” of the virus, dubbing it a “common enemy of mankind.”
“Why do some political forces in the United States always do everything possible to attack and discredit China through the epidemic situation?” the spokesman asked, adding later in the briefing that “some politicians are politically manipulating the origin of the virus to attack and discredit other countries, and their attempts will not succeed.”
As the blame game grinds on, the state of Missouri has moved ahead with a lawsuit against China – including national, provincial and city governments, among other Chinese entities – accusing the nation of “causing a global pandemic” and “enormous death, suffering, and economic losses,” seeking billions in restitution payments. Actually proving its far-reaching case is another matter, however, as no compelling evidence of a Chinese “cover-up” has yet emerged, while Beijing maintains it provided the international community with information on the virus as soon as it was available.