Due to its suspected role in the global coronavirus disease (COVID) pandemic, China stands cornered today. US President Donald Trump warned on Sunday that if China was found responsible for the coronavirus, it would have to face serious consequences. Australia has demanded an international investigation into the origin of the virus, accusing China of not being transparent.
From accusing the US military of plotting coronavirus to supplying faulty medical equipment to many countries of the world, many of China’s ploys have backfired.
Some analysts say that the failure of the West, including the US, to deal with the coronavirus pandemic will give China a chance to lead the world economy. Others say that due to the COVID crisis worldwide, mistrust for China will prevail globally and its relations with all the countries will be affected. Many countries are raising questions about the genesis of coronavirus and China’s role in its generation.
So far, 24,35,876 people worldwide have been inflicted with COVID while 1,67,369 have died of the pandemic sparked off by China. In the US, the administration of which is now livid against China, more than 40,000 people have died due to COVID. Italy (24,114 deaths) and Spain (20,852 deaths) have suffered frightening tolls.
Many heads of states, including the US President, have also cast doubt on China’s figures. On its part, faced with constant suspicion, criticism and condemnation, China appears confused. Whereas last month it was seeking credit from the world for recovering from the pandemic, last Friday it abruptly hiked the number of people killed by COVID in Wuhan by 50%.
To justify the sudden spike in the graph, China said that hospitals had not maintained their records properly.
World condemns China
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meanwhile told Fox News that President of China Xi Jinping and his government should be held responsible for the COVID pandemic. Pompeo said that China would have to tell the world how the virus spread so fast.
Speaking to ABC Television, Australia’s Foreign Minister Maris Pine has said that his concern about China’s transparency in the context of COVID was very important. Australia wants to investigate the global pandemic in which China’s action should also be investigated after the first case of coronavirus in Wuhan.
US President Donald Trump’s attack on China is intensifying.
Peking University researcher Wang Jiesi said in an interview, US-China relations have reached the worst phase since formal diplomatic relations were established in 1970. The business relations of the two countries were already tense and now the scope of their improvement seems to be over, the researcher said.
Anti-China sentiments prevail in Britain. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said sternly that China would have to explain how the COVID pandemic spread and what is needed to stop the scourge. “I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event review of the lessons — including of the outbreak of the virus — and I don’t think we can flinch from that at all, it needs to be driven by the science,” he said at the daily press briefing.
Politicians of the Conservative Party of Britain have asked the government to take a strong stand towards China. Even Britain’s intelligence agencies have said that they will be more vigilant against any threat from Beijing. These agencies had earlier found that coronavirus the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Wuhan Centre for Disease Control had deliberately introduced the virus to the local wet market.
The governments of Europe and Australia have banned Chinese companies from buying cheap assets of the country amid the economic crisis.
Tokyo has also announced financial assistance of $ 2.2 billion to several Japanese companies to move their manufacturing units and supply chains outside the communist country.
French President Emmanuel Macron made a strong comment on China’s government on Sunday. He said, “Everyone chose their own path and I respect what China is today, but it would be wrong to say that it was more successful in dealing with coronavirus. There have been many things that we are not aware of.”
Macron said a comparison between a democratic and open society with a (communist) society where the truth is suppressed was wrong. He said that ending the freedom of the people to fight the pandemic would threaten the democracy of Western countries. “You cannot leave your original DNA (democracy) by citing the COVID pandemic,” the French president said.
There was a conflict between France and China over another matter. An article on the Chinese embassy website had said that western countries had left their elders to die in care homes. The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian summoned China’s ambassador to the country and took strong exception to the article.
Countries like the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey questioned the quality of many of China’s medical equipment, including facemasks, which caused its mask diplomacy to backfire.
In Kenya, China has invested heavily under Belt and Road, but there is also dissatisfaction with China. An editorial in a popular Kenyan newspaper, The Standard, has asked whether China is expecting a debt repayment from Kenya even during the Coronavirus-borne economic crisis.
Did Beijing tip off allies?
There are allegations that China had tipped off its fellow communist country and ally North Korea, which was why Pyongyang had sealed its borders right after getting the news of the outbreak last year. It was the first country to do so while Beijing had strongly objected to the ban on international travel at that time.
Russia, like North Korea, had closed its borders with China in the early stages of the epidemic. Even Iranian officials have criticized China for hiding information about the epidemic.
China has started an exercise to improve its deteriorating image due to COVID casualties across the world. US lawmaker Roger Roth has claimed that he had received an e-mail from the Chinese government asking him to sponsor a bill praising China for dealing with the coronavirus.
Senator Roth told the Financial Times that the Counsel-General of China in Chicago had sent him this email.