China says relations with U.S. on the brink of new Cold War

China said Sunday that relations with the United States were "on the brink of a new Cold War," fueled in part by tensions over the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 350,000 people worldwide and pitched the global economy into a massive downturn.
Globally more than 5.3 million people have been infected by the virus, which most scientists believe jumped from animals to humans -- possibly at a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic emerged in December.
The origins of the virus and China's response have become highly politicized, with U.S. President Donald Trump accusing Beijing of a lack of transparency, and pushing the theory that it may have leaked from a Chinese maximum-security laboratory.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington had been infected by a "political virus" to continually attack China, but added the country would be open to an international effort to find the coronavirus source.
"It has come to our attention that some political forces in the U.S. are taking China-U.S. relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War," Wang told a press conference at China's week-long annual parliament session.
Wang blasted what he called efforts by U.S. politicians to "fabricate rumors" about the virus origin and "stigmatize China".

© 2020 AFP
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