US whipping up panic, says China

-Beijing accuses Washington of spreading fear in virus outbreak
-Grateful and touched by Pakistan’s trust, support against Coronavirus
-Opens hospital for virus treatment built in record-breaking time

From Mahnoor Makhdoom

BEIJING: The United States has taken actions that create and spread fear following a coronavirus outbreak in China, instead of offering any significant assistance, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.
The United States was the first nation to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a ban on Chinese travellers, said ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
“All it has done could only create and spread fear, which is a bad example,” Hua told an online news briefing, adding that China hoped countries would make judgements and responses that were reasonable, calm and based on science.
The United States began evacuating US citizens from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have first emerged late last year, on January 28.
The World Health Organisation on Jan. 30 declared the accelerating outbreak a global emergency. On the same day, the US State Department raised its travel advisory for China.
“It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations,” Hua said.
China on Monday expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Pakistani leadership for extending a firm support to China in the fight against novel coronavirus epidemic and said it was deeply grateful and touched by such trust and confidence.
“As China fights the outbreak, Pakistan has stood firmly with us, maintaining flights and pooling medical supplies all over the country to help China.
We are deeply grateful and touched by such trust and confidence,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said during the first ‘Online’ briefing held here.
The briefing was resumed after the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays. She remarked that China and Pakistan were iron-clad friends that share a good tradition of mutual assistance and added, “China will continue to work in close communication and coordination with Pakistan to safeguard the health of Pakistanis in China.”
Referring to the statements of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi regarding China’s fight against novel coronavirus, she said indeed, the Pakistani prime minister and foreign minister highly commend and firmly support China’s efforts to fight against the new coronavirus.
“They also appreciate China’s assistance for Pakistani citizens in China and express confidence in China winning this battle with the strength of its system. The Pakistani people are standing firmly with their Chinese brethren,” she added. Hua Chunying pointed out that like Pakistan, many other countries had also expressed full confidence in China, adding, “We thank them.”
“We have the confidence and the capability to win the fight against the outbreak as soon as possible and safeguard the life and health of their citizens in China,” she said. About the medical supplies from Pakistan and some other countries, she said since the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, just Pakistan had expressed understanding and support to China through various means.
As of noon February 2, epidemic prevention and control supplies donated by the Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Japan, the UK, France, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Iran, Belarus, Indonesia and the UNICEF had arrived in China.