Washington and Beijing are continuing to trade verbal barbs, after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China, a 'brutal, authoritarian regime' on Wednesday, in response to China's decision to target Australia with barley tariffs after a call for an independent probe into the origins of COVID-19.
At a news conference Thursday, China's Foreign Ministry slammed Pompeo's remarks.
"Once again Mr. Pompeo made irresponsible remarks, and he has played to perfection the part of an extremely irresponsible politician. But his numerous lies have bankrupted his credibility in the world."
In response to the U.S. pointing the finger at China's initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak as the reason for the global pandemic, the spokesperson said the outbreak in the U.S. is solely on them, not China.
With regard to COVID-19, as the Secretary of State of the Unites States, Mr. Pompeo should tell the world why the U.S. government didn't take strong prevention and control measures between January and March, why it was for such a long time against people wearing masks, and why it failed to stem the fast spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.. He has a responsibility to explain to the world."
Trade tensions are also escalating between the two biggest economies, as the U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that could ban many Chinese companies from listing on U.S. stock exchanges.
The bill would require companies to certify "they are not owned or controlled by a foreign government".
While the law could be applied to any foreign company, watchers say the move to strengthen disclosure requirements is aimed squarely at Beijing.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.