Foreign ministers of the G7, the most industrialized and wealthiest countries in the world, addressed a Chinese “disinformation campaign” on the coronavirus on Wednesday during a meeting, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“There was a lot of discussion today about China’s intentional disinformation campaign. You have seen it on social media, you have seen it in the statements of high-ranking Communist Party officials, who talk about the US bringing the virus to China. It’s crazy! “Pompeo said at a press conference after the virtual G7 meeting.
Pompeo said that all G7 members (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States) already know about China’s disinformation campaign “and urged them to work together to face the “evil influence” and the “authoritarianism” of Beijing.
“The Communist Party of China – he added – represents a substantial threat to our health and our way of life. The Communist Party of China threatens our liberal and free order, the order that is the basis of prosperity and security of countries of the G7 “.
His statements represent a rise in tone in the new open battle between Washington and Beijing for the coronavirus.
The two powers have exchanged accusations about the origin of the virus, have plunged into a frantic race to see who gets a vaccine first, and compete to demonstrate their power by sending medical supplies to different countries affected by the epidemic.
The battle is also being fought at the communicative level: US President Donald Trump has referred to the pathogen as the “Chinese virus” and some Chinese authorities have promoted the false theory that US soldiers introduced the disease during a visit to Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected in December.
According to the German magazine “Der Spiegel”, Washington’s accusations against Beijing have caused disagreements between the G-7 foreign ministers.
Specifically, “Der Spiegel” states that Foreign headlines have not yet been able to publish a final statement of their meeting because the US He has insisted that this document refers to the “Wuhan virus”, a controversial term coined by Pompeo and that has been rejected by his G-7 counterparts.
Asked about it at the press conference, Pompeo, whose country holds the current G7 presidency this year, did not deny or confirm the information.
Globally, the number of coronavirus cases stands at 372,757 and there are 16,231 deaths, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
China remains the most affected country with 81,747 infections and 3,283 deaths since the outbreak began, although authorities say that there are currently only 4,287 active cases and the epidemic continues on a rapid downward trend.
The focus of the pandemic has shifted to Italy, with 63,927 cases and 6,077 deaths, followed by the US, with 42,164 infections and 471 deaths, and Spain, where 33,089 people are infected and 2,182 have died, according to the WHO.