Some U.S. politicians have recently alleged that China should be held accountable and compensate other countries for the COVID-19 pandemic. Such ludicrous and groundless accusations are merely an attempt by them to shift blame to China and distract from their own inadequate response.
The attempt to file frivolous lawsuits has no legal basis. From a legal perspective, the pandemic outbreak is a global public health emergency of international concern, also "force majeure" in law.
There is no such thing as "state responsibility" of the first country reporting a disease, nor is there any international law that supports blaming a country simply for being the first to report cases.
Speaking of compensation, why don't those U.S. politicians answer the following questions first:
Should the United States offer compensation to the 200,000 people who were killed by the 2009 H1N1 flu, which was first diagnosed before breaking out on a large scale in the United States and then spread to 214 countries and regions?
Should the United States compensate 75 million HIV carriers and 35 million AIDS-related victims as AIDS was first reported in the country in the 1980s and then swept across the world?
And should the United States repay the trillions of U.S. dollars lost globally due to the financial turmoil in the United States triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 that turned into a global financial crisis?
Also, filing lawsuits against China runs counter to facts and common sense.
COVID-19 was not caused by China. Like other countries, China is a victim of, not an accomplice to the disease.
Once China sensed the severity of the situation, the country made a tough decision that cut off the route of transmission in the shortest possible time and stopped the fast-spreading virus in its tracks.
China has begun sending regular, timely updates about the pandemic to the World Health Organization since Jan. 3. It also provided continuous updates to other countries including the United States with openness, transparency and a sense of responsibility.
Despite its tremendous sacrifices, particularly in Wuhan, the hard-hit capital city of Hubei Province, China brought the situation under control in about two months, gathering important experience and making a vital contribution to the world's battle against the virus.
China is now trying to revive its economy so as to sustain its part of the global supply chain, during which it has never ceased providing all the assistance it can to other countries.
In contrast, the United States was the first country to pull out personnel from its consulate-general in Wuhan and the first to announce entry restrictions on all Chinese citizens. It announced the decision to close its borders to all Chinese citizens and foreign nationals who had been to China within the preceding 14 days on Feb. 2, when it only had eight reported cases on that day.
Yet despite this demonization of China, it is the United States that has emerged at the global epicenter of the pandemic. The confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has topped 1.68 million with a death toll close to 100,000.
The United States with over 4 percent of the world's population accounts for almost one-third of the total infections worldwide and over one-fourth of the deaths.
It is not hard to tell the real intention behind the political farce. The unreasonable and legally unfounded demand for Chinese reparations is little more than blackmail.
Fortunately, the world is not as easily duped as some U.S. politicians imagine.
The clock is ticking. The blame game leads nowhere, and only adds to the suffering of the American people. Enditem