Netizens mock UK politicians' move to seek COVID-19 compensation from China

By Leng Shumei Published: 2020/4/7 1:48:20

Members of Britain's armed forces stand by ambulances in a car park at the ExCeL London exhibition center in London on Sunday. The center has been transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital. Photo: AFP

Before asking China to cover the losses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK should consider how much it owes China and the world for its colonial activity, Chinese netizens said on social media following senior Tory officials who reportedly urged their government to file a $449 billion compensation claim against China.  

British think-tank Henry Jackson Society released a report on Sunday  that assessed the potential damages China is liable for and could run upwards of £3.2 trillion from the G7 nations alone, among which the UK is said to have a claim worth almost $449 billion based on government spending. Meanwhile, the US could claim $1,200 billion.

The report said the Chinese government failed to report information to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is a breach of international health regulations and caused the outbreak to spread rapidly worldwide. 

Senior Tories led by former Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green wrote to the UK  Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding a 'rethink and a reset' in relations with China based on a report from the British think-tank Henry Jackson Society, according to the Daily Mail. 

Foreign and Chinese netizens expressed their opposition on social media, mocking that before asking China to pay for the UK's losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they should think how much it owes China and the world for its colonization. 

"Cool, great, you just pay us back for the Opium Wars," a Twitter user commented. 

"UK would owe a lot more for all its colonization. Can't just be a one-way street," said another.

"The UK is the last one qualified to require other for reparation," said one comment on Weibo. 

Chinese experts have also slammed the idea, reiterating that China  quickly shared information with the WHO. If other countries missed the window China provided, then that's their own fault.

Every country is under pressure combating the pandemic, but the issue can only be solved through cooperation and not by blaming others, Feng Zhongping, rector of European Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

Posted in: EUROPE

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