https://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2020/03/26/feature-03
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G7 members slam China over coronavirus disinformation campaign

Caravanserai and AFP

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A member of airport security wears protective gear in Shanghai on March 26. [Hector Retamal/AFP]

The Group of Seven (G7) powers stand united in opposing the Chinese regime's coronavirus disinformation, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday (March 25).

Foreign ministers from the major industrialised democracies spoke about the crisis by videoconference, scrapping a meeting scheduled in the United States.

Pompeo said he shared a common view with the top diplomats of the other G7 countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

"Every one of the nations that were at that meeting this morning was deeply aware of the disinformation campaign that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in to try and deflect from what has really taken place," Pompeo told reporters.

Beijing "has been and continues to be engaged in" a social media campaign that has included conspiracy theories of US involvement, said Pompeo.

US troops brought the virus to Wuhan, the metropolis where it was first detected late last year, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman suggested on Twitter earlier in March.

"This is crazy talk," said Pompeo, referring to the Chinese propaganda.

The virus has killed more than 21,000 people globally, but Beijing has been on a massive public relations campaign to appear as though it has brought the virus under control.

The Chinese regime is also actively sending aid overseas, attempting to come off as a benevolent power.

Cover-up by Beijing

Pompeo has accused Beijing of putting the world at risk by initially suppressing news of the virus.

International concern is growing about the accuracy of the information coming from Chinese officials, who announced March 18 that China had no new local infection cases. Many observers doubt that China has had no new infections, considering the scope of COVID-19's spread in the country.

Despite Beijing's malign efforts, the United States seeks co-operation with all countries, including China, said Pompeo.

The US government and US private charities alike are working to help fight COVID-19 around the world, said Pompeo, noting a US Air Force delivery on March 20 of vital medical supplies to Italy.

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