March 13, 2020 / 7:55 AM / 15 days ago

China declines comment on spokesman's claim of U.S. role in coronavirus outbreak

BEIJING, March 13 (Reuters) - Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on Friday about the Twitter comments of another ministry spokesman that the United States may have started the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Geng, asked repeatedly about the comments by Zhao Lijian on Thursday, said only that the international community had different ideas about the origin of the virus that has infected more than 100,000 people globally.

Geng did not directly comment on questions whether Zhao’s comments were consistent with Beijing’s official views on the virus, which first surfaced late last year in China’s central city of Wuhan. (Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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