China on brink: Coronavirus to ‘speed up great power rivalry’ between US and Beijing

Officials from both the US and UK have accused China of mishandling the crisis and have even questioned Beijing’s relations with their respective countries. Mr Hague has been one of those who have called into question the UK’s future relationship with China. Following the virus, Mr Hague has claimed the rift between the US and China will be enlarged amid Donald Trump’s mistrust of Beijing.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hague claimed the separation between the two will be sped up.

He said: “Think about the drift to great power rivalry between America and China, already gathering pace in recent years.

“COVID-19 threatens to speed that up, with both countries trying to shift blame on to the other.

“In a US election year, candidates will vow to take a hard line on ensuring American technology is separated from that of China. has started a campaign to get Tom Moore a knighthood, please visit here to sign up to our petition.

“Other Western capitals and company headquarters will conclude they cannot be dependent any longer on supplies from one country, in a world where borders close at the first hint of trouble.

“And so the process of ‘deglobalisation’ – more of what we consume being made closer to home, even if it is more expensive – will accelerate.”

This month, Mr Trump has warned China will face consequences if it was responsible for the pandemic.

Despite Wuhan’s apparent control of the virus, the mortality rate in the city rose by 1,290 this week.

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The overall death toll in the city now stands at 3,869 bringing the overall total to 4,600.

Although the Chinese government downplayed the sudden rise in mortalities this week, the state has consistently been accused of misinformation on the virus.

Mr Trump said this month: “It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it.

“If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake.

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“But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences.”

Tory MP, Tom Tugendhat has also criticised China’s handling of the pandemic and accused the country of misinformation surrounding the disease which has cost lives.

He argued: “Rather than helping other countries prepare a swift and strong response, it is increasingly apparent that they manipulated vital information about the virus in order to protect the regime’s image.

“The government needs to tackle these lies with a clear and quick response, working with our allies to show a united front in the face of false facts and deadly disinformation.”

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has also pressed China for increased transparency about the origin of the virus.

Ms Merkel has demanded China release more information about the virus as Europe struggled to cope with COVID-19.

Although the German Chancellor did not go as far as Mr Trump, she stated Beijing must become more open.

She said: “Beijing has to show complete openness in this world crisis – especially with regard to the origin of the virus.”

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