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There was no China cover-up of coronavirus, Chinese envoy says

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming gestures during a news conference in London, Britain August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - China did not cover up the novel coronavirus outbreak and so the United States should not seek to bully the People’s Republic in a manner reminiscent of the 19th century European colonial wars, the Chinese ambassador to London said on Thursday.

“I hear quite a lot of this speculation, this disinformation about China covering up, about China hiding something - this is not true,” Liu Xiaoming said. “The Chinese government was transparent and very quick to share data.”

“Some other country - their local courts sued China - it is absurd,” he said. “Some politicians, some people, want to play at being the world’s policeman - this is not the era of gunboat diplomacy, this is not the era when China was a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society.”

“These people still live in the old days - they think they can bully China, think they can bully the world,” Liu said. “China is not an enemy of the United States - if they regard China as an enemy they chose the wrong target.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kylie MacLellan; editing by Alistair Smout