Blackmailing China over COVID-19 ‘daydreaming’: Chinese FM

By Zhao Juecheng and Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/24 16:52:07


Photo: Wang Yi

Abuse of litigation against China over the COVID-19 outbreak is groundless, has no factual basis and no international precedence and attempts to blackmail China over the epidemic are daydreaming and won't work, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Global Times at a press conference on Sunday on the sidelines of the ongoing 13th National People's Congress. 

Like other countries, China is a victim of the coronavirus epidemic, Wang said, noting that the timeline of the fight against the disease is crystal clear, as China reported to the World Health Organization the earliest and shared epidemic-related information with other countries, as well as shared gene sequencing and experiences in preventing and curing the disease, Wang said in response to a question about some Western politicians and entities pushing lawsuits against China for losses resulting from the coronavirus. 

"Those unwarranted lawsuits against China over the COVID-19 have zero basis for fact, law or international precedence. These attempts are completely shoddy," Wang said, slamming the lawsuits as immoral and unacceptable. 

"China is not the country it was 100 years ago. If [any country] wants to infringe on China's sovereignty and dignity by abuse of litigation against China, and extort the fruits of the hard work of the Chinese people, I am afraid it will be a daydream, and it will only humiliate itself," Wang told the Global Times at the press conference.

Although Wang did not directly respond to the Global Times' question about worries that Washington may confiscate Chinese assets in the US as compensation, some experts said this would be unfeasible, as the US would risk losing its own financial status if it strikes back financially.

China will take countermeasures against the US government in response to its suing China for coronavirus losses, as the country firmly opposes such groundless accusations, which severely violate international laws and basic norms governing international relations, and will not accept any smear campaigns or attacks. 

China is extremely dissatisfied with the abuse of litigation by the US against China over the COVID-19 epidemic, and is considering punitive countermeasures against US individuals, entities and state officials, such as Missouri's attorney general Eric Schmitt, who filed a lawsuit against China seeking compensation for the coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter told the Global Times exclusively. 

At least four US Congress members, including Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton, and two entities will be put on China's sanctions list, analysts said. 

China won't just strike back symbolically, but will impose countermeasures that will make them feel the pain, they noted. 

The Chinese side has been urging the US side to stop blaming and smearing China, stop pushing forward anti-China bills and stop acts of abusing litigation against China, and focus on safeguarding American people's lives and health. Such blame games are absurd, ridiculous, and should be ended, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a routine press conference in mid-May.   

The US won't have the courage to confiscate Chinese assets in the US, such as China's huge investment in US government bonds, because if the US government does so, it would significantly damage its reputation in global financial markets, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

"If it launches such financial countermeasures, other countries would also move their assets from the US, which would completely destroy the hegemony of the US dollar," Li said. 


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