Blinken criticizes China's failure to 'provide real transparency' earlier in pandemic

James Marshall
April 13, 2021

"One result of that failure", he said, is that the coronavirus "got out of hand faster and with, I think, much more egregious results than it might otherwise". It means strengthening the World Health Organization and reforming it so it can do that.

Blinken's comments about China didn't end at the virus.

"As we speak right now", Blinken told Todd, "I have to tell you I have real concerns about Russia's actions on the borders of Ukraine".

He did not answer whether he believes China knows the origins of Covid-19 and is withholding that information.

The United States is now vaccinating millions of Americans against the virus every week, vastly more than in many other countries, with President Joe Biden saying that in a week all adults who want to get inoculated, regardless of their age, will be eligible to get their shot.

When asked about whether Washington is going to guarantee to the world that we're going to get to the bottom of how this originated, the top diplomat agreed with the same and stated that "we need to get to the bottom of this". China sent 15 planes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone on Wednesday and 11 on Friday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized China Sunday for not disclosing information on Covid-19 and its aggression in Taiwan and said that the USA has "real concerns" about Russia's actions on the Ukraine border.

He addressed questions about boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in China over human rights concerns, saying that the USA wasn't "there yet" and that the discussion wasn't a focus right now. "Because as long as the virus is replicating somewhere, it could be mutating, and then it could be coming back to hit us", he said.

Blinken stood by the White House's description of China's treatment of its Uyghur minority as genocide, saying the US needs to look at keeping out Chinese products made in the region.

In addressing concerns about America's two great Cold War rivals, Blinken stopped short of promising US military intervention - "I'm not going to get into hypotheticals" - but did vow there would be "consequences".

"Unless and until the vast majority of people in the world are vaccinated, it's still going to be a problem for us", he said. A recent State Department report said the same.

"It would be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force", Blinken said on "Meet the Press" on Sunday, adding that he wouldn't speculate about possible US responses.

The tense start to 2021 comes after a report released by a government-backed think tank found that China made a record 380 incursions into Taiwan's defence zone a year ago.

China has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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