The United Kingdom’s government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is reportedly “furious” with China, and has pledged a “reckoning” for the country’s “disinformation campaign,” which U.K. officials believe downplayed the number of Chinese coronavirus cases by “15 to 40” times.
Business Insider reports that Johnson’s government is the first to suggest that China could face economic consequences for the coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“UK government officials are accusing China of spreading disinformation about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in its borders,” the outlet says, adding that officials believe China’s reported number of coronavirus cases — just over 81,000 — is far too low, and that the real number of cases could be “15 to 40 times” official Chinese reports.
“It was the case … the first case of coronavirus in China was established in December of last year, but it was also the case that some of the reporting from China was not clear about the scale, the nature, the infectiousness of this,” the U.K.’s Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove told the BBC late last week.
“There has to be a reckoning when this is over,” another said. A third added, “the anger goes right to the top,” suggesting that Johnson himself is making plans to alter official policy towards China in response to the coronavirus pandemic. – READ MORE
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