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China points to Japan's outbreak in justifying Xi trip delay

Beijing deflects criticisms of initial coronavirus response back home

Chinese President Xi Jinping's early response to the coronavirus outbreak has increased in recent weeks.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- As China and Japan discuss postponing Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit planned for April, Beijing is steering public attention to Tokyo's struggles to contain the new coronavirus.

Criticism of Xi's early response to the outbreak has increased in recent weeks. His administration seems eager to frame any delay as a show of solidarity with Japan rather than an acknowledgment of fault.

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