Missouri’s ridiculous lawsuit against China impossible to win

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/22 19:23:40

The US Capitol building is seen in Washington D.C. April 19, 2020.Photo:Xinhua

The US state of Missouri on Tuesday became the first US state to sue the Chinese government over its handling of COVID-19. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in the lawsuit that China did little to stop the spread of the virus and "lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19," claiming that Missouri residents may have suffered tens of billions of dollars in economic damages.

This is completely a farce. Missouri is trying to hold China accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic in a US court, which is almost impossible to succeed. It should at least file a lawsuit in an international court and in accordance with international law, not the laws of the US. 

By suing the Chinese government, Missouri aims to incite US public opinion in condemnation on China. This is also in line with the racist term "Chinese virus." Experts have found that the COVID-19 conforms to the law of cross-species transmission. It was not artificially created by a specific country or an institution. There is no scientific conclusion as for where the virus originated. China did not "lie to the world." The US, however, is still playing down the severity of the coronavirus after seeing China's epidemic situation. The US has not reflected on the failures of its own measures.

Missouri is demanding economic compensation from China. This will never happen. When facing a virus that was completely unknown to all humanity, China made the fastest response. China also shared its information with the rest of the world as soon as possible, and its achievements are obvious to all. Missouri surely knows this lawsuit will never be won and so-called compensation never happen. It only intends to use the lawsuit to divert American people's attention from its own domestic mess and the collapse of crude oil prices.

The lawsuit is another US perpetrated farce. Other US states are unlikely to follow Missouri's suits and sue the Chinese government. Anyone who understands the law knows it will never succeed. It is simply a publicity stunt and a move meant to smear China. Many US states are directly cooperating with China on the COVID-19 fight. It would be ridiculous if these states receive aid from China and then sue the Chinese government at the same time. Currently, the top priority for the US is to curb the spread of the virus. Many US states are practically fighting the epidemic and reflecting on the US federal government's incompetence; not filing ridiculous lawsuits.

China's anti-virus achievements are obvious. Missouri's lawsuit will not have any legal impact on China. We need to be vigilant to see if the US turns the lawsuit into persecution and discrimination against Chinese Americans. There have been several anti-Chinese chapters in US history. This time, it is led by a US government. China needs to further strengthen the protection of Chinese people overseas.

The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Li Qingqing based on an interview with Zhu Wei, professor and communications researcher at China University of Political Science and Law. liqingqing@globaltimes.com.cn

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