Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying

The Chinese government has accused the US of causing "panic" in its response to the deadly Coronavirus outbreak and offering little or no help, in sharp contrast to many countries that have offered their help and support to Beijing.

Iran Presscommentary: The Chinese Foreign Ministry accusation follows a US decision to declare a public health emergency and deny entry to Chinese Nationals and all foreign nationals who had visited China in the past two weeks.

In a news briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said the US actions "could only create and spread fear" instead of offering assistance.

US restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations

She said the US was the first country to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers and the first to suggest a partial withdrawal of its embassy staff.

"It is precisely developed countries like the US with strong epidemic prevention capabilities... that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations," Hua Chunying said.

She also said China urgently needed "medical masks, protective suits, and safety goggles".

In further comments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said: “Many countries have offered China support in various means. In sharp contrast, certain U.S. officials’ words and actions are neither factual nor appropriate.”

Wilbur Ross: Coronavirus outbreak could bring jobs to America

Hua Chunying's remark seemed to be directed at U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who a day earlier had said the Coronavirus outbreak in China could help bring jobs to America, a remark that was quickly criticized as highly insensitive both at home and abroad.

“The fact is, it does give businesses another thing to consider when they do a review of their supply chains,” Wilbur Ross said Thursday morning on Fox Business. “I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America, some to the U.S., probably some to Mexico as well.”

Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Commerce

The insensitive comments by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have been interpreted by many Chinese as proof positive that the Trump Administration is looking to profit from China's misery.

One U.S. trade-group executive said the remarks are likely to feed the view among many Chinese that the U.S. conducted its trade battle with China to halt the country’s economic rise, and is now looking to benefit from China's misfortune.

The last time China was hit by a similar infectious-disease outbreak, the SARS epidemic in 2003, American companies were looking to expand operations in China. This time, as a result of the trade war and rising wages in China, foreign companies have been looking to diversify their operations outside of China.

WHO praises China for its fight against coronavirus

Meanwhile, global health officials have advised against travel bans.

The World Health Organization WHO has warned that closing borders could even accelerate the spread of the Coronavirus if travelers enter countries unofficially.

The WHO instead recommends introducing screening at border crossings.

In fact, the World Health Organization WHO has praised China for its commitment to fighting the Coronavirus, stressing that the only way to defeat it was for all countries to work together "in a spirit of co-operation". Last week, the WHO declared a global state of health emergency and urged the international community to help China develop vaccines and medical drugs to fight the Coronavirus.

Many countries have offered their help and support to Beijing with the notable exception of the United States. The comment by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross seems to sum up very nicely America's opportunistic and less-than-friendly approach towards China.

Currently, the death toll in China from the Coronavirus has risen to 425, with confirmed cases passing 20,000. 

Outside of mainland China, there are more than 150 confirmed cases of the virus - and two deaths, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.


Writer:           Mohammad Reza  Asgari 

Translator:    Mehran  Derakhshandeh

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Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying
Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Commerce
Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Commerce