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Newsline: China accuses US of ‘weaponizing’ consulate order

China has lashed out at the United States for ordering its consulate staff to leave the locked-down city of Shanghai, accusing officials of “weaponizing” the financial hub’s failing attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19. On Monday, the US State Department “ordered” the departure of non-emergency employees and their families from the city of 25 million “due to a surge in Covid-19 cases and the impact of restrictions related to (China’s) response,” according to a statement on its website. China’s Foreign Ministry has notified the US it “firmly opposes” the consulate order, ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a news briefing. “We express strong dissatisfaction with the politicization and weaponization of evacuations by the US,” Zhao said, adding that the US was “smearing China.” Zhao also defended China’s Covid prevention and control policies as “scientific and effective,” insisting the government had “every confidence in bringing the new wave of Covid-19 under control” despite rising case numbers. (https://kvia.com/news/2022/04/12/china-accuses-us-of-weaponizing-extended-shanghai-lockdown/) The financial hub reported more than 26,000 new locally transmitted cases on Monday, the sixth consecutive day over 20,000, according to China’s National Health Commission (NHC). So far, more than 320,000 cases have been reported across 31 provinces — including those in Shanghai — since March 1.

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