China refutes 24 ‘lies’ by U.S. politicians over coronavirus

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has issued a lengthy rebuttal of what it said were 24 “preposterous allegations” by some leading U.S. politicians over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese foreign ministry has dedicated most of its press briefings over the past week to rejecting accusations by U.S. politicians, especially Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that China had withheld information about the new coronavirus and that it had originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan.

A 30-page, 11,000-word article posted on the ministry website on Saturday night repeated and expanded on the refutations made during the press briefings, and began by invoking Abraham Lincoln, the 19th century U.S. president.

A report by Der Spiegel magazine last Friday cited Germany’s BND spy agency as saying that China’s initial attempt to hold back information had cost the world four to six weeks that could have been used to fight the virus.

The article rejected Western criticism of Beijing’s handling of the case of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor who had tried to raise the alarm over the outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan. His death from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, prompted an outpouring of rage and grief across China.

It ministry article said Li was not a “whistle-blower” and he was never arrested, contrary to many Western reports.

However, the article did not mention that Li was reprimanded by the police for “spreading rumours”. Though Li was later named among “martyrs” mourned by China, an investigation into his case also drew criticism online after it merely suggested the reprimand against him be withdrawn.

Rejecting suggestions by U.S. President Donald Trump and Pompeo that the new coronavirus should be called the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus”, the article cited documents from the World Health Organization to say the name of a virus should not be country-specific.

“As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” it said in the prologue.

The article also cited media reports that said Americans had been infected with the virus before the first case was confirmed in Wuhan. There is no evidence to suggest that is the case.

Keen to quash U.S. suggestions that the virus was deliberately created or somehow leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the article said that all evidence shows the virus is not man-made and that the institute is not capable of synthesising a new coronavirus.

“TIMELY” WARNINGS

The article also provided a timeline of how China had provided information to the international community in a “timely”, “open and transparent” manner to rebuke U.S. suggestions that it had been slow to sound the alarm.

Despite China’s repeated assurances, concerns about the timeliness of its information have persisted in some quarters.

Steve Bannon is quietly creeping back into the White House, sources say


Donald Trump’s lightning-rod 2016 campaign boss and former White House chief strategist who was banished from the West Wing in 2017 has quietly crept back into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., reestablishing ties to staffers, particularly with regard to his pet issues of China and immigration.

“He does have relationships there. No question about it,” a person with knowledge of the situation told The Post. “You know who runs the trade and China policy work in the White House. You know who runs the immigration side of things, those are the people Steve is talking to.”

Multiple people close to Bannon insisted he was still not on speaking terms with the president and also steered clear of Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and their allies. Still, the ex-adviser got a big boost with the elevation of Mark Meadows to the role of chief of staff. The two are known to be chummy, with Meadows even appearing on Bannon’s “War Room” podcast in January, just weeks before his promotion.

Another former administration official told The Post that Bannon never really left the White House after he was fired, maintaining contacts and keeping up regular channels of communications with officials there.

A number of notable Bannon allies remain in the president’s orbit, including White House senior advisor Stephen Miller and economist Peter Navarro, who runs the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.

A longtime China hawk, he has been a frequent target of the Chinese Communist Party in their official state media. In a statement, Bannon demurred on the extent of his White House ties.

“No need to speak to the President or the White House because anything we have to say goes up everyday on our show for the deplorables,” he told The Post.


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Chinese and Cuban children exchange messages against Covid-19


Chinese and Cuban children exchange messages against Covid-19

Beijing, May 9 (Prensa Latina) Children from China and Cuba joined their voices and drawings in a video to express solidarity, support and respect for the Caribbean island, as it fights the coronavirus pandemic, an official source confirmed on Saturday.

Officials from Cuba’s Consulate General in Shanghai told Prensa Latina that this is a joint project with the Pudong Huamu Primary School, and it had the support of the community of compatriots residing in that municipality and journalists from Xinhua news agency.

The video begins with images of Cuba, its children and culture, linked symbolically through a door with the Asian city, its people and the new generations.

The images are accompanied by phrases such as ‘Gu Ba jia you’ (Strength Cuba), of confidence in the Caribbean nation’s capacity to overcome the disease, about the friendship that unites both countries and the respect for the work of the medical personnel who are fighting the pandemic.

Apart from this initiative by the new generations, Cuba received several gestures of support from the Chinese Government, institutions and citizens.


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Speedboats with Colombian Navy’s emblems seized in Venezuela


Caracas, May 9 (Prensa Latina) The National Bolivarian Armed Force (FAMB) seized three combat speedboats with emblems of the Colombian Navy on Saturday at dawn, which were abandoned in the Venezuelan state of Bolivar.

In an official communiqué, the FANB pointed out that the speedboats of the Boston Wheeler model, each of which equipped with two 175-HP Evinrude engines, were armed with .50 caliber and M60 machineguns, and laden with ammunition.

All the material is kept by the FANB, as the Public Ministry and other institutions of the Venezuelan State carry out pertinent investigations.


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