A meeting among the Group of Seven (G7) countries was held via video-conferencing, on Thursday (April 16), where US President Donald Trump's criticism of China over novel coronavirus pandemic appeared to garner some supporters.
Britain, France criticize China
While talking to reporters on Thursday, UK's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told reporters that there can be "no business as usual" with China, AFP reported. "We'll have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it couldn't have been stopped earlier", he said.
"There absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event and review of the lessons, including of the outbreak of the virus", he added further. Foreign Secretary Domonic Raab is filling up for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who's recovering from novel coronavirus.
As on April 17, UK has reported 103,093 novel coronavirus cases, and 13,729 fatalities.
In an interview with Financial Times, French President Emmanuel Macron also questioned China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak. "Let's not be so naive as to say it's been much better at handling this. There are clearly things that have happened that we don't know about", Macron said.
Till now, France has reported 165,027 cases and 17,920 Covid-19 fatalities.
China joined by Russia to denounce criticism over pandemic
In a telephonic conversation on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping talked to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Xinhua News Agency reported.
While Xi stressed that 'politicizing and labeling of the COVID-19 pandemic are detrimental to international cooperation', Putin said that 'the attempts by some people to smear China on the origin of the novel coronavirus are unacceptable'.
Russia has reported 27,938 coronavirus cases and 232 fatalities, although the country is being suspected of under-reporting.
China has come under intense criticism, especially from the United States, over its initial mishandling and lack of transparency regarding novel coronavirus outbreak. The actual source of outbreak is still unknown, with a local wet market and Wuhan Virology lab, being the suspected ones.
Silencing the whistle-blowers, under-reporting the number of cases and a propaganda blitz are some other accusations leveled against China. China, the initial epicenter of SARS-CoV-2, has reported 82,367 cases and 3,342 fatalities.