China says virus pushing US ties to brink of ‘Cold War’

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China said Sunday that relations with the United States were “on the brink of a new Cold War”, fuelled in part by tensions over the coronavirus pandemic, as Muslims around the world celebrated a muted end to the holy month of Ramadan.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington had been infected by a “political virus” compelling figures there to continually attack China, but offered an olive branch by saying the country would be open to an international effort to find the coronavirus source.

“It has come to our attention that some political forces in the US are taking China-US relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War,” he told reporters during a press conference at China’s week-long annual parliament session.

He spoke as more nations eased lockdown restrictions in a bid to salvage economies and lifestyles that have been savaged by the pandemic.

Hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world were celebrating a muted Eid al-Fitr, with Islam’s two most important mosques closed to worshippers in Mecca and Medina.

Still, churches were reopening in France, Spain’s football league announced it would kick off again on June 8, and thousands flocked to beaches in the US, where lockdowns and social distancing have become rights issues that have split communities. – READ MORE

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