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UK says China has questions to answer over coronavirus outbreak

Britain said on Monday that China had questions to answer over the information it shared about the novel coronavirus outbreak, but refused to comment on reports that a U.S.-led intelligence consortium had accused Beijing of a cover-up.

The U.S. has scaled up its rhetoric over Chinese culpability for the coronavirus in recent days, with U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, saying on Sunday there was evidence the disease emerged from a Chinese lab.

Washington has so far presented no evidence publicly that the virus came from a lab, which Beijing strongly denies.

The Australian Telegraph reported the U.S.-led Five Eyes intelligence consortium had in a 15-page research dossier said China had deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency” that cost tens of thousands of lives.

The Five Eyes group compises U.S., British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand intelligence services.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Every day I get intelligence bulletins from our agencies around the world.

“I don’t comment on individual bulletins, what I have and haven’t seen. That would be wrong.”

Asked if China had questions to answer over how quickly it made the world aware of the extent of the crisis, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I think it does.”

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