China's ambassador to France on Wednesday slammed as "shameful" the decision by Hong Kong medical workers to strike, accusing them of putting lives at risk in the midst of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Hundreds of medical staff in the city have stayed off from Monday, demanding a complete shut down of the border with the mainland and saying they don't have enough protective gear.
"I think it's shameful," Lu Shaye told a press conference in Paris. "At a time when everyone is throwing themselves into the fight against the epidemic, and a few cases have already been confirmed [in Hong Kong], it's not fair."
"These people are not working to save lives, their actions have grave consequences. It only serves to underscores their perversity," he said, warning of the "extreme politicisation" in Hong Kong that has been rocked by anti-government protests from last year.
On Monday, Hong Kong's leadership announced the closure of all but two land crossings with mainland. On Wednesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared that anyone arriving from the mainland would face a mandatory two-week quarantine, imposing a virtual ban that will take effect from Saturday.
Lu said he was "certain that the epidemic will be fully brought under control".
While admitting that the virus would damage the Chinese and global economy he said he was sure the fallout would be short-lived.
"The Chinese economy has become an ocean, capable of withstanding storms," he said, assuring it would "not change the positive fundamentals of the Chinese economy".
Chinese envoy to France slams HK hospital strike
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