China’s top court vows to defend the country’s interests in response to overseas lawsuits over COVID-19

South China Morning Post reported Tuesday that China’s top court vowed to defend the country’s judicial sovereignty and national interests in response to overseas lawsuits against China demanding reparations for the coronavirus outbreak.
Delivering on Monday his annual report to the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature, Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court, said the courts would strictly abide by international laws and resolutely defend China’s jurisdiction and national security.
There have been moves overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including by certain US politicians, to sue China for compensation over economic losses brought by the coronavirus, which was first reported in central China in late 2019, according to the South China Morning Post.
Speaking on Sunday at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual national legislative session, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said these frivolous lawsuits are “shoddy,” as they “have zero basis in fact, law or international precedence,” adding that clamoring for so-called “accountability and compensation” from a victim of COVID-19 and fabricating so-called evidence for frivolous lawsuits “trample on international rule of law and betray human conscience.”
“If anybody thought they could use some ludicrous lawsuits to undermine China’s sovereignty and dignity or to deprive the Chinese people of their hard-won gains, they’d be daydreaming and bring disgrace to themselves,” Wang said.
China’s courts will also attach great significance to helping debt-laden companies stay afloat and resolving contractual disputes this year, so as to support the government’s efforts to revive the economy, secure jobs, and ensure that people’s livelihoods and companies survived, Zhou noted.
Unwarranted seizure or freezing of the assets of companies facing litigation would be forbidden, Zhou said. The judiciary would also help struggling enterprises through bankruptcy protection and debt restructuring, but meanwhile it would do it utmost to make sure those who contracted COVID-19 would not face dismissal without justification, the Hong Kong newspaper reported.

The third session of the 13th National People’s Congress opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 22. Photo by Weng Qiyu/People’s Daily Online

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