APRIL 17, 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron has joined other world leaders in questioning China’s handling of coronavirus, saying things “happened that we don’t know about”.
The French president said it would be “naive” to suggest the country had dealt better with the pandemic than some Western democracies.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Macron said there should be no comparison between open societies and those which suppress truth.
“Given these differences, the choices made and what China is today, which I respect, let’s not be so naive as to say it’s been much better at handling this,” he told the newspaper.
“We don’t know. There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about.”
Discussion the idea of abandoning freedoms to fight the pandemic, he said: “We can’t accept that. You can’t abandon your fundamental DNA on the grounds that there is a health crisis.”
France has so far seen 141,000 cases of Covid-19 and almost 18,000 deaths. In comparison, China has recorded 83,400 cases and just over 3,300 deaths.
China’s transparency over the outbreak has also been question by other countries, including the UK.
The UK’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab said it cannot be “business as usual” with China after the pandemic and called for a “deep dive” review into how the virus was able to spread.
Mr. Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson while he recovers from the virus, said there needs to be a thorough review of the worldwide spread.
He added: “I don’t think we can flinch from that at all.”
Speaking at the daily Covid-19 briefing in Downing Street, Mr. Raab said “hard questions” needed to be asked about how the virus came about and how its spread was not stopped sooner.
He said: “I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event review of the lessons – including of the outbreak of the virus.”
US President Donald Trump recently angered China by blaming the outbreak on the “Chinese virus” and the “Wuhan virus” and had cast doubt on the statistics coming from the Communist country.
In an apparent swipe at his US counterpart, China’s President Xi Jinping said the virus “knows no boundaries and ethnicity”.
“The relationship of China and the US is at a critical juncture. Co-operation is mutually beneficial to both nations, while fighting will hurt,” he added, according to state media.
Courtesy/Source: Evening Standard