Blinken punts on punishing China for coronavirus outbreak

Blinken previously accused China of failing to meet international obligations to provide information about the genesis of the virus that led to it the death of millions of people worldwide, including nearly 550,000 in the US

“There is no doubt that China is lagging far behind, especially on the first Covid-19 hit, when it comes to providing the international community with the necessary information and ensuring that experts have access to China,” said blinking while an interview with NBC in February. “All this lack of transparency, this lack of openness is a profound problem.”

Blinken’s comments are a notable break with his predecessor, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who routinely demeaned China for the coronavirus virus originated from a Chinese laboratory.

Pompeo’s theory was publicly endorsed by Robert Redfield, former President Donald Trump’s director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an interview Friday that contradicted public health experts and US intelligence agencies’ assessment of the virus’s origin.

“It is not uncommon for respiratory pathogens being worked on in a laboratory to infect the lab technician,” said Redfield. “That’s my own opinion. It’s just an opinion. I can have opinions now.”

Blinken, who spoke from Brussels after a meeting with representatives of NATO and the European Union, emphasized the importance of US cooperation with allies on China-related issues.

“There are clear and increasingly controversial aspects of the relationship. There are certainly competitive ones. There are also some cooperative ones, ”said Blinken about American relations with China. “But the common denominator is the need to approach China from a position of strength, whether it is controversial, whether it is competitive, whether it is cooperative.”

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