Donald Trump infuriating Beijing on Monday night by referring to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus.”
Tweeted Trump: “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!
The Guardian reports: “The World Health Organization has advised against terms that link the virus to China or the city of Wuhan, where it was first detected, in order to avoid discrimination or stigmatisation. … The comment comes as Beijing and Washington appeared to be locked in a game of shifting blame. Last week, outspoken official Zhao Lijian from China’s ministry of foreign affairs accused the US military of bringing the virus to Wuhan. The US summoned Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai over the comment and issued a ‘stern’ warning to Cui. On Monday, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, issued ‘strong US objections’ in a phone call with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi. According to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, Yang also issued ‘strong objections’ to attempts by the US to ‘slander and smear’ China’s efforts in combatting the virus.”
Said China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang: “Some US politicians have tried to stigmatise China … which China strongly condemns. We urge the US to stop this despicable practice. We are very angry and strongly oppose it [the tweet].”