LONDON: A Chinese envoy has accused the United States of undermining the global economy by building trade barriers and artificially prolonging the global coronavirus pandemic by halting funding to the World Health Organization. China’s ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Wang Qun, made the unusually harsh remarks at a meeting with officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), headquartered in Vienna. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signalled a further deterioration in relationship with China over the virus outbreak, saying he had no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second-largest economy.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, Trump said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the disease and that the pandemic had cast a pall over his January trade deal with Beijing, which he has previously hailed as a major achievement. Wang thanked OPEC for the efforts to stabilise global oil markets but then devoted most of his remarks to the stand-off with Washington. “The U.S. has done its utmost to engage itself in blaming games and stigmatisation of China, and WHO, so as to shift its own responsibility for ineffective control of the pandemic in the U.S.,” Wang said. —Agencies