The Chinese Consulate-General in Calgary is firing back at Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for his rebuke of China’s handling of the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
In a scathing statement posted on its website Saturday, the consulate accused Kenney of wilfully ignoring the “facts” in an effort to appease U.S. President Donald Trump with anti-China rhetoric.
The consulate appears to be responding to a story by The Canadian Press published by the Calgary Herald last Thursday about Kenney’s remarks at a virtual roundtable of the Canadian American Business Council.
The premier cautioned that China will soon face a “great reckoning” for downplaying the dangers posed by the novel coronavirus when it first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
China’s diplomatic outpost in Calgary countered with a warning that Kenney may face his own “reckoning,” suggesting “he will not look smarter” in a comparison between the COVID-19 responses in Alberta and Wuhan.
[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
A spokesperson for the premier said in an email Sunday that the premier’s comments to the council “speak for themselves.”
During last week’s roundtable, Kenney accused China of working to suppress early evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus, including misleading and stonewalling the World Health Organization.
This echoes reported plans by the White House and Capitol Hill legislators to penalize China for what it considers to be a coverup. China has strenuously denied such allegations.
Trump has indicated he intends to seek damages and impose retaliatory measures, even as his administration tries to preserve its efforts to secure a long-term trade deal.
Kenney told the council that China’s “significant role” in the global public health crisis and its devastating economic fallout cannot go without consequences.
In response to Kenney’s calls for a “reshoring” of manufacturing capacity from China, the Calgary consulate offered a pithy retort: “Please go ahead.