Nigel Farage has called for more scrutiny of the Chinese government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Writing in Newsweek, the former Brexit Party leader said the country had been “above criticism” after Covid-19 spread globally.
Coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.
The country announced today that after imposing strict travel and quarantine rules, there have been no new cases recorded in Wuhan or the surrounding Hubei province, which was the epicentre of the virus.
China has recorded a total of 80,928 confirmed virus cases with 3,245 deaths - another 70,420 people have been released from hospital and 7,263 remain in treatment.
But, as drastic steps continue to be taken in the UK and globally to reduce the spread of the disease, Mr Farage said that “attention should now turn to China”.
He criticised the hygiene of the wildlife markets, where he said “living, dead or dying creatures … are held in close proximity, their body fluids and all the bacteria, viruses and parasites they carry mixing and mutating in direct contact with human shoppers”.
Mr Farage also went on to challenge the “draconian” measures imposed by the Chinese government to tackle the spread of the virus, questioning whether they “are something we should emulate in a democracy”.
He said: “Isn’t it time we in the West had a grown-up conversation about China, beginning with the truth that several layers of the regime—from sanitary inspectors to secret police— are responsible for this nightmare?
“Isn’t this the moment when we need to remind ourselves that China is a deeply unpleasant communist dictatorship, a surveillance society that executes thousands of its own people every year?”
Mr Farage's comments come as Donald Trump faced a backlash earlier this week for referring to Covid-19 as “the Chinese Virus”.
One Twitter user wrote that the US president was “showing his true, racist colours”, adding “It’s not the ‘Chinese Virus’, it’s a global pandemic”.
And some were also critical of Mr Farage's opinion, with one branding him a "clown" and "racist Trump's cousin".
Another, however, argued that he has "spoken what most of us are all thinking".
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