Dominic Raab tells China there will be NO ‘business as usual’ after coronavirus pandemic

Addressing the public from Downing Street last night, the Foreign Secretary revealed it certainly won’t be business as usual with China in the near future. Mr Raab said there would have to be a “deep dive” into the facts around the outbreak, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The foreign secretary had just announced the UK will face three more weeks under lockdown.

While taking questions from the press this evening, Mr Raab said: “I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event review of the lessons – including of the outbreak of the virus – and I don’t think we can flinch from that at all.

“It needs to be driven by the science.”

He said the UK had good co-operation with China in relation to the return of UK nationals and in procurement of equipment.

However, the temporary UK leader made it clear it won’t be business as usual with China once the lockdown is lifted.

He added: “So we ought to look at all sides of this and do it in a balanced way.

“But there is no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis, and we will have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it couldn’t have been stopped earlier.”

Mr spoke out after Beijing announced the World Health Organisation has found no evidence coronavirus was man-made.

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The country has long been fending off accusations that it was created in a Chinese lab in Wuhan.

One of China’s greatest critics of their handling of the pandemic has been US president Donald Trump.

Trump halted $500 million of funding to the WHO this week after disagreeing with their statements about China’s role in the crisis.

Trump slammed the body, saying WHO had “failed in its basic duty” in its response to coronavirus by failing to stand up to China.

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He announced this week that the US government was “doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese “need to come clean” on what they know.

But China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told Thursday’s daily briefing that WHO officials “have said multiple times there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory”.

The comments come after Mr Raab stood in for Boris Johnson and joined Trump at the G7 conference on the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking during the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing Mr Raab said: “The one thing the coronavirus crisis has taught us is the value and the importance of international cooperation.

“I’ve just been standing in for the PM on the G7 meeting where we have been going through all of the areas where the UK is providing a leading role and working very closely with all of our international colleagues.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “This afternoon the First Secretary of State Dominic Raab represented the UK in a virtual summit of G7 leaders to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.

“All leaders expressed their best wishes for the Prime Minister’s recovery and welcomed the cooperation that has already taken place between G7 countries.

“They agreed that the rapid development and production of coronavirus treatments and a vaccine will be crucial to stop the spread of the virus around the world. The First Secretary of State stressed the need for the response to be internationally coordinated.

“Leaders discussed the particular risk coronavirus poses to developing nations and agreed on the need to fight coronavirus in every country.

“They committed to continue to support developing countries through bilateral assistance, multinational organisations and by ensuring governments around the world have access to the medical supplies they need.

“G7 leaders also agreed on the importance of financial measures to defend the global economy against the impact of coronavirus. The First Secretary of State welcomed the efforts that have been made to coordinate economic responses, including agreements on debt relief earlier this week, and urged all countries to support long-term economic recovery.”

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