Hypes are recently being made by certain politicians and organizations in the U.S. to claim compensation from China for the COVID-19 outbreak.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is one of them that has repeatedly accused China of covering up how dangerous the disease is and failing to share all of the information it had.
He also stigmatized China and claimed to hold the country responsible when the time is righ. What he did not only is harmful, but also goes against conscience.
Such a theory is groundless and the accountability forced on China by U.S. politicians barely hold water.
Some questioned China’s epidemic data and information transparency, because they either had not a thorough check or simply ignored the facts.
Some complained that China didn’t take timely measures at the beginning of the outbreak, because they either failed to see the huge difficulties posed by the sudden outbreak of the unknown virus or were reluctant to admit the ignorance and incompetence of the U.S. in dealing with the Pandemic after the country acquired certain information.
China has notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the epidemic and shared relevant information in a timely manner, fulfilling its obligations according to the provisions of the International Health Regulations. It has also set a good example for other countries in fulfilling international duties, as pointed out by the WHO.
With concerted efforts of the Chinese people, the country has done a great job in “early detection, early reporting, early isolation, and early treatment,” acted promptly to track the source of infection and close contacts, and released timely information to the society in all honesty.
The theory about the so-called compensation is also unjustifiable. The anti-pandemic practices of China or any other country are the practices of a sovereign state, which, based on the principle of sovereign equality under the international law, shouldn’t be bound by the courts of other countries.
Even the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of the U.S. has specified that the American courts have no jurisdiction over foreign governments and affiliates unless foreign affiliates have been prosecuted by the U.S. for engaging in illegal commercial transactions.
China’s offering of supplies for other countries was either humanitarian aid free of charge or normal and reasonable market practice. The country has also fulfilled its obligations according to the International Health Regulations.
If the U.S. government winks at or even backs the accusations and compensation calls against China, it will have to rewrite the international law first and promise that such principles also apply to itself in the future.
After all, to claim damages from a country for a public health emergency is without precedent in history. The U.S., for example, has never compensated for the 1918 flu pandemic, AIDS or the influenza A (H1N1) virus that first emerged on its homeland, or the subprime mortgage crisis that led to an international financial crisis.
Besides, the theory is morally unacceptable. It is immoral and shameless for U.S. officials to ask China to take responsibilities for the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak and apologize and pay for the damages, as such a request breaks the bottom line of human conscience.
Despite various backgrounds and motives, Pompeo and his fellow politicians, in essence, are using the virus as a political tool to stir up troubles and suppress China.
When China released timely information about the virus and launched an all-out and people’s war against the epidemic, Pompeo and the like were busy downplaying the risks of the outbreak, stigmatizing China and shifting blames.
When China called for unity in the anti-pandemic fight and assisted other countries out of morality and responsibilities, Pompeo and his colleagues were still discrediting China and sowing discord between China and other countries.
Virus is the enemy of all mankind and countries shall work together to defeat it. The U.S. can’t become more immune to the virus or contain the pandemic by defaming and slandering China, just like the injection of disinfectant can’t cure COVID-19 patients.
Pompeos are just being big mouths instead of making concrete efforts to contain the pandemic.