U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday pressed China’s top diplomat on the need for full transparency and information sharing as Washington ramped up its pressure on Beijing over the coronavirus outbreak.
Tensions have increased again between the world’s top two economies over the global pandemic, which has now infected more than 2 million people, as President Donald Trump has pulled U.S. funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing it of being “China-centric.”
Pompeo has also said the United Nations organization had failed to deliver on its promises. He has repeatedly accused Beijing of covering up the scale of the outbreak in the early days and not sharing accurate data.
China insists it has been transparent and has sharply criticized U.S. officials who cast doubt on that. A senior Trump administration official last week said lives could be saved globally if China allowed the United States to work directly with laboratories in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak began.