Chinese President Xi Jinping displayed unabashed dishonesty on Tuesday as he declared victory over the coronavirus pandemic. While making one of the most abysmally devious claims, he used words like 'extraordinary' and 'historic' to describe China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

"China has helped save the lives of tens of millions of people around the world with its practical actions, showing China's sincere desire to build a common future and community for humanity," Xi said in a triumphant speech delivered at the Great Hall of People in Beijing.

What hollow rhetoric!

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China's President Xi Jinping claps during the closing ceremony of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, March 14, 2016.

If China ever registered a win against coronavirus, it's a pyrrhic victory, the president forgets. The rest of the world is reeling from the impact of the virus, which originated in China. And China has still not acknowledged that the virus originated in Wuhan.

The president, who gloats about the fact that China is the first country to return to economic growth post-outbreak, conveniently forgets that economies are in tatters across the world, livelihoods of millions of people have been destroyed and more than a million have died from the virus.

His government had the opportunity and choice to mitigate these sufferings. But he did not. And now comes the tall claim.

China refused to share the virus samples with other governments of the world in time so as to prevent the spread and equip other countries in the fight back. Beijing did not allow foreign governments and the WHO to investigate the origins of the virus. It refused access to WHO doctors into Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, early enough. Instead, it manipulated the ever-so-complaint WHO chief into spreading misinformation about the virus.

It then clamped down on domestic travel, while still allowing planeloads of people to travel to Italy, its main trade partner in the European Union. China and its lackeys in the WHO decried US and European travel restrictions to China.

Xi's government hunted down whistleblowers in the country who tried to reveal the magnitude of the crisis. Yet, Xi had the nerve to shower fulsome praise on those he thought were China's Covid 19 warriors. He presented the Medal of the Republic, the highest national honor, and other awards to them. In return, the recipient of the top award, veteran medical expert Zhong Nanshan, said the country's 'fight' to find the origins of the virus will go on!

"We will join hands with the... world's medical workers to continue the fight in tracing the origins of the virus," said the doctor.

Unsurprisingly, Xi he omitted true heroes. He did not mention Li Wenliang, the whistleblower doctor who died in February after alerting the world about the imminent danger.

Xi's utterances on Tuesday are merely part of China's gravity-defying efforts to turn the narrative on its head. It criminally lost the opportunity to stop the virus spread at the beginning of the year. And now, Beijing is building a myth for the consumption of the naive.

(The Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily of International Business Times)