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As U.S.-China rhetoric grows harsher, new risks emerge with Taiwan drawn into the mix

Gerry Shih, Eva Dou and Anne Gearan

Rising tensions between the United States and China brought fresh mudslinging Wednesday as a sharp dispute over responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic spills into new forums such as Taiwan.

In the span of several hours, the feud swung from Taipei to Beijing to the Internet, where an animated "credibility test" on Chinese state TV's Twitter feed mocked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

President Trump then lashed out at China for a "worldwide killing" from covid-19 — part of messages that could become talking points in the presidential election campaign.

The White House salvos have sought to keep a focus on China's early response to the virus and what Trump has called a "China-centric" deference at the World Health Organization. China, in turn, has portrayed itself as a good global citizen willing to work with the United Nations and other countries to defeat the pandemic.

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