The US state of Missouri says it is suing the Chinese government over its handling of the coronavirus which it says has led to severe economic losses.
In the lawsuit, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleges China did little to stop the spread of the virus.
Mr Schmitt claims Missouri residents have suffered possibly tens of billions of dollars in economic damages.
China’s foreign ministry denounced the move, saying the “frivolous lawsuit has no factual or legal basis”.
A spokesperson said: “Really absurd. Based on the principle of sovereign equality, US courts have NO jurisdiction over the Chinese government.”
Legal experts have also questioned the move and how far it will get. A legal doctrine called sovereign immunity offers foreign governments broad protection from being sued in US courts.
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) news from BBC