China accused the United States on Thursday of trying to shift the blame for the corona virus after President Donald Trump said the pandemic was a worse "attack" than Pearl Harbor or September 11th.
Tensions between the two largest economies in the world have reached a fever in the past few days as they have exchanged barbs to deal with the virus.
"We urge the US side to stop shifting the blame to China and turn to the facts," State Department spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference.
On Wednesday, Trump made analogies to the virus that surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year and to notorious military and terrorist attacks on the United States.
"This is really the worst attack we've ever had," Trump told reporters. "This is worse than Pearl Harbor. It is worse than the World Trade Center."
The Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii drew the United States into World War II.
The jihadist attacks of September 11, 2001 killed around 3,000 people and triggered war for two decades.
Trump said the coronavirus pandemic "should never have happened".
"Could have been stopped at the source. Could have been stopped in China," he said.
Hua replied, "You could say the pandemic is comparable to Pearl Harbor or 9/11, but the enemy the United States is facing is the novel corona virus."
She said Washington should "fight side by side with Beijing" rather than as "enemies".
Hua added that "many foreign countries, experts and scientists have made positive comments about China's effective virus prevention and control".
"But the United States alone has made some very inharmonious, untrue, and insincere comments," said Hua.
The corona virus, which first appeared in central China at the end of last year, has now killed more than 73,000 people in the United States.