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US-China mask fight upends international cooperation

Beijing's donations stir concerns, while Washington takes heat for hoarding

Medical personnel wear face masks in the testing site for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a hospital in Liege, Belgium, Apr. 4.   © Reuters

BEIJING/BRUSSELS -- A global tug of war is intensifying over needed medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with some countries wary of a Chinese offer to donate needed gear even as the U.S. stands accused of hogging it.

China has provided surgical masks, protective suits, test kits and other assistance to 120 nations, including Japan, the U.S., and countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, according to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding and local governments have donated medical supplies.

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