UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that Bejing has “questions to answer” over the data it shared about the COVID-19 outbreak.
Wallace said: “Every day I get intelligence bulletins from our agencies around the world. I don’t comment on individual bulletins, what I have and haven’t seen. That would be wrong.”
“China needs to be open and transparent about what it leant, it’s short comings but also it’s successes,” Wallace added.
Washington has radically escalated its rhetoric over China culpability for the pandemic. In recent days, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US had “enormous evidence” that the COVID-19 pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, echoing a claim previously made by US President Donald Trump.
The Australian Telegraph reported the US-led Five Eyes intelligence consortium (which include US, UK, Canada, Australi and New Zealand) had a dossier that claimed China had deliberately suppressed evidence of the COVID-19 outbreak in an “assault on international transparency”.
Bejing has repeatedly denied that it covered up any details about the COVID-19 outbreak.
China’s ambassador to the UK last month said the US should not seek to ‘bully’ the People’s Republic in a manner reminiscent of the 19th century European colonial war.