Beijing is still "falling short of the mark" with allowing experts into sites where the novel coronavirus that lead to the worldwide pandemic originated, and the country's lack of transparency is a "profound problem" that must be addressed, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"The challenge posed by China is as much about some of our own self-inflicted weaknesses as it is about China's emerging strength," Blinken told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell in an interview recorded Sunday.
World Health Organization inspectors have been on the ground in Wuhan since last month to investigate the origins of the pandemic, and on Sunday visited the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control, which had an early role in managing the outbreak of the virus.
Meanwhile, Blinken said President Joe Biden's administration is looking to determine if tariffs former President Donald Trump imposed on Chinese imports are instead harming the United states more.
He also slammed China over its actions in Hong Kong, saying sweeping national security laws have been carried out "egregiously" and that the United States must open up to people fleeing the crackdown.
"We see people who were, again, in Hong Kong standing up for their own rights, the rights that they thought were guaranteed to them," Blinken said. "If they're the victims of repression from Chinese authorities, we should do something to give them haven."
Meanwhile, Blinken said the administration is also reviewing its relationship with Saudi Arabia while calling the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 "an outrageous act against a journalist and a U.S. resident."
However, he declined a condemnation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been determined by the CIA to have ordered Khashoggi's death.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.