Legal actions against China for Covid-19 pandemic are based on falsehood, prejudice
BEIJING – The so-called legal actions against China for damages in the coronavirus pandemic are based on falsehood and prejudice, and are nothing but political pandering by a few US politicians to win elections.
Attorney generals of the states of Missouri and Mississippi filed the lawsuits last week, trying to blame China for losses during the coronavirus outbreak. Such frivolous litigations are only aimed to fault other countries for their own inactions and failures.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleged that China lied about the dangers of the virus and did not do enough to slow its spread. His groundless accusation, however, can be easily refuted by facts.
China's measures to counter the unknown virus have been the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough, in an open, transparent and responsible spirit. Earlier this month, China published a detailed timeline of China releasing information on Covid-19 and advancing international cooperation on epidemic response.
Since January 3, China has been regularly informing the WHO, relevant countries, including the United States, on the latest development of the situation. On January 12, China shared with the WHO information on the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus, which has laid a solid basis for global efforts of scientific research and vaccine development against Covid-19.
The United States has unfettered access to information and data from China.
When the Chinese people suffered from a rampaging epidemic since January, it made all-out efforts to contain the spread of the virus, including putting the megacity of Wuhan on lockdown. These effective measures, however, were once bashed as "overreacting" by some politicians and news outlets in the west.
Until early March, US President Donald Trump was still downplaying the threat of the coronavirus outbreak and comparing it to a common flu. The losses of lives and economic pain in the United States are due to their own delay and incompetence.
In fact, such lawsuits are known to lead nowhere. In accordance with the principle of sovereign equality under international law, US courts have no jurisdiction over the sovereign actions taken by Chinese governments at all levels in response to the epidemic.
The outbreak of a virus is not the fault of any country, and the only reason Schmitt and other politicians made such allegation is to pass the buck, distract domestic public outcry, and seek political gains.
In history, the blame-other-countries strategy, including demonization of China, has often been used in the United States to sway public opinions in elections.
Evasion of responsibility is just an act of ill-intentioned cowardice in the face of the real enemy: the virus. Instead of pointing fingers at other countries, cooperation is needed in these difficult times.
It is certain such scapegoating will further erode the international trust in the United States and undermine its long-held status as a global leader. And it will in no way help the world to fight against Covid-19.
If such lawsuits are not dismissed, all members of the international community are prone to be made the scapegoat for the failure of the United States.