China dismisses US claim of attempted COVID-19 vaccine theft as ‘smearing’


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo BEIJING: China accused Washington on Thursday of smearing Beijing after US alleged Chinese hackers were trying to “steal” research on developing a vaccine against coronavirus. The claims have added fuel to tensions between the global superpowers, who have traded barbs over the origin of the pandemic that has killed 300,000 people.