US health chief slams China over virus on Taiwan trip Aug 12, 2020 0 973 12345 AFPTaipeiThe coronavirus might have been stamped out more quickly had it emerged in democratic Taiwan instead of autocratic China, the US health secretary said Tuesday during a historic diplomatic trip to Taipei.Alex Azar’s renewed criticism of China’s handling of the pandemic is likely to further stoke already fiery tensions between the United States and China, where the disease first appeared late last year.The two powers are clashing over a wide range of trade, military and security issues, as well as the pandemic.“The Chinese Communist Party had the chance to warn the world and work with the world on battling the virus. But they chose not to, and the costs of that choice mount higher every day,” Azar said in a speech at a public health college.“I believe it is no exaggeration to say that, if this virus had emerged in a place like Taiwan or the United States, it might have been snuffled out easily,” he added. RELATED ARTICLES Russia claims ‘world’s first’ COVID-19 vaccine as global cases top 20 million Aug 12, 2020 0 645 Spain again grapples with Europe’s worst virus infection rate Aug 12, 2020 0 625 UK schools start to reopen despite increase in virus cases Aug 12, 2020 0 1493 Pro-democracy media tycoon freed on bail amid Hong Kong crackdown HONG KONG: Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai walked free on bail on Wednesday, over a day after he and other critics of China were rounded up by police as part of a widening crackdown on dissent. When Lai left a .. Belarusian presidential challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya flees to Lithuania VILNIUS: Belarus opposition challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya fled to Lithuania after coming under pressure in a seven-hour encounter with officials that left her with little choice, Lithuania’s foreign minister .. France to extend mask rules, ban on big gatherings amid virus uptick PARIS: France is to prolong an anti-coronavirus ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people, due to expire on August 30, until the end of October, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Tuesday. Castex warned that the .. Pre-orders of COVID-19 vaccine top five billion AFP Washington Although none of the coronavirus vaccines under development has proved its efficacy yet in clinical trials, at least 5.7 billion doses have been pre-ordered around the world. First shipments of a .. White House adviser questions Russian vaccine testing standards WASHINGTON: White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday responded to the news that Russia claims to have registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, arguing that the country has not done the necessary .. Pompeo in Prague at start of central Europe visit PLZEN: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Prague on Tuesday, public TV footage showed, to open a five-day visit to central Europe with a hefty agenda including China’s role in 5G network construction. Pompeo .. China extends Hong Kong legislature by at least a year AFP Beijing Chinese lawmakers have extended the term of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council by at least a year in order to deal with the vacuum left by postponing the city’s elections, state media said on Tuesday. Hong Kong’s ..