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A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry suggested on Thursday the U.S. military might have brought the coronavirus to the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been hardest hit by the outbreak, doubling down on a war of words with Washington.
China has taken great offence at comments by U.S. officials accusing it of being slow to react to the virus, first detected in Wuhan late last year, and of not being insufficiently transparent.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has pointed to a decision to limit air travel from China at the end of January to fend off criticism that it responded too slowly to the disease. Critics say Trump played down the disease in public and the federal government was slow to roll out tests.