Soon 300 000 people dead, Washington accuses Beijing of spying on its researchers

Bientôt 300 000 morts, Washington accuse Pékin d'espionner ses chercheurs

Bientôt 300 000 morts, Washington accuse Pékin d'espionner ses chercheurs

The United States has accused China of trying to steal their work on a vaccine, treatments or new screening tests.


May 13, 2020 21h31


Soon 300 000 people dead, Washington accuses Beijing of spying on its researchers

Charlotte Plantive

Agence France-Presse

WASHINGTON — Washington on Wednesday accused Beijing of trying to spy on its scientists dedicated to the fight against the new coronavirus, of which the balance sheet of death is approaching the threshold of 300 000 victims all over the planet.

The United States do not cease to ascribe to China the seriousness of the crisis, which, beyond its terrible human toll (4.3 million cases, more than 294 000 dead), has put to sleep the whole areas of the economy.

The world health Organization warned Wednesday that the virus could “never go away” and become one of those with which mankind must learn to live.

In the meantime, in a bid to revive tourism, one of the worst affected areas, the european Union has called on its members to reopen their internal borders. This has not prevented the market from collapsing, after a few reassuring u.s. monetary authorities.

The boss of the us central Bank, Jerome Powell, has warned that the damage of the pandemic on the world’s largest economy could be “sustainable” and that there should perhaps be further aid, in addition to about 2 900 billion of support already unlocked.

In the United States, the country most affected with more than 1 800 deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday (more than 84 000 in total), even the health sector is paradoxically affected by the crisis: almost a million and a half people have lost their jobs since march, of which 135 000 in the hospitals, which have seen their revenues squeezed by the postponement of elective surgeries.

Bientôt 300 000 morts, Washington accuse Pékin d'espionner ses chercheurs

Beijing has denounced the “rumors and [the] slander” of the United States.

AFP-Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

This sector, but also those of pharmacy and research, are “targeted” by China, which, via hackers, students or researchers, are trying to steal their work on a vaccine, treatments or new screening tests, have accused the United States of america.

Before Washington does publicly to these attacks, the press was echoed, and Beijing had denounced in advance of the “rumors and slander”.

“Dark winter”

For weeks, the american president Donald Trump accuses China of having concealed the extent of the epidemic, which appeared the end of 2019 in the city of Wuhan, and thus have facilitated its spread. He has even – vaguely threatened retaliation.

But according to a former top health officer sacked recently by the president, the united States were not sufficiently “prepared” to deal with the virus. Lack of a coordinated response, there will be a “resurgence of cases in fall” and “2020 will be the winter of the darkest in modern history”, has also predicted Rick Bright.

In the United States, as in the rest of the world, governments are trying to find the difficult balance between measures designed to stem the spread of the disease and the decisions to kick-start their economies.

The reopening of the borders is one of the issues of this debate.

The european commission wanted Wednesday re-open “collaborative” and “non-discriminatory” the internal borders of the EU in order to prevent the sinking of the tourism sector, which represents 10% of GDP and 12% of employment in the Union.

“If we all make efforts, we will not have to spend the summer stuck in the house or in the summer will not be completely lost to the tourism industry,” said executive vice-president of the Commission, Margrethe Vestager.

Germany announced on Wednesday that it was lifting in mid-June traffic restrictions at its borders, and has assured to share this goal with its neighbours, the French, austrian, and swiss.

“So enthusiastic”

For the rest, the measures of déconfinement continue to move forward step by step, with sometimes, here and there, a break or a retreat prudent.

Concerning the advances, the German championship of football will resume on Saturday, and its competitors in English, Spanish and Italian are preparing to imitate it.

Banned for six weeks, the beaches around Los Angeles, California, reopened, without that he be permitted to lay the towel or start a game of volleyball.

The United Kingdom, the second country in the world the most bereaved (more than 33, 000 deaths), has slightly lifted the tread on the sole to England, where it is again possible to go to work, soak up the sun or play golf.

“I have the impression of being a director of a school who sees the arrival of full of schoolchildren, everyone is so enthusiastic”, testified to theAFP Jason Pheasant, boss of the greens in the south-west of England.

Although Russia became on Tuesday, according to a count by theAFP, the second country in the world the most contaminated (more than 232, 000 cases), the president Vladimir Putin, whose spokesman and the Prime minister had been hospitalized, has given its green light to the beginning of déconfinement, in function of the epidemiological situation of each region.

The mortality remains low compared to other countries, with 2 212 victims officially identified, a review of critical voices in doubt.

But Moscow, which is the main focus of the epidemic, has extended its containment until may 31.

The walks are again authorized Wednesday on some of the beaches on the atlantic coast in France, where the sanctuary of Lourdes (South-West) will once again host visitors from Saturday.

In the rest of the world, the south african president announced a new phase of the overhaul of the country by the end of the month.

Death unexplained in Nigeria

Conversely, the american capital Washington, where the epidemic is slow to recede, has extended the containment of its population until the 8th of June and the chilean authorities have given effect to the extent to Santiago, where cases have increased by 60% in 24 hours.

In China, the vast agglomeration of Jilin, in the eponymous province bordering North Korea, was placed Wednesday its inhabitants in containment time after new cases of coronavirus, raising fears of a second wave epidemic in the country.

By mobilizing the meager resources and disrupting health systems failing, the fight against the virus could also have indirect effects devastating in poor countries, such as the death of 6,000 children every day in the next six months, warned on Wednesday UNICEF.

Africa is so far relatively spared by the pandemic, which has officially less than 2 500 deaths, but the evidence indicating that this balance is strongly underestimated multiply.

Thus, the consequent increase of deaths for the most part unexplained in the north of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, fears of a strong spread of the coronavirus in this region among the poorest in the world.

“They are not aware of the earthquake that announces,” cautions Dr. Ibrahim Musa, a doctor of the region.

Le Soleil

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