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24 May, 2020 10:30

Lawsuits targeting China are mere ‘daydreaming’, but Beijing’s ‘open’ to impartial Covid-19 probe – Chinese FM

Lawsuits targeting China are mere ‘daydreaming’, but Beijing’s ‘open’ to impartial Covid-19 probe – Chinese FM

Threats to sue China for its alleged role in the coronavirus pandemic are misguided, the country’s foreign minister has stated, adding that Beijing would co-operate with an even-handed inquiry into the global health crisis.

Lawsuits being threatened against Beijing are “frivolous” and have no precedent under international law, Wang Yi said on Sunday. He warned that using such tactics in an attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty would backfire. 

If anybody thought they could use some ludicrous lawsuits to undermine China’s sovereignty and dignity, or to deprive the Chinese people of their hard-won gains, they’d be daydreaming and bring disgrace to themselves. 

US lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow Americans to sue the Chinese government for allegedly whitewashing the danger posed by Covid-19. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has already sued Beijing on behalf of his state, claiming that China is responsible for the global pandemic.

Instead of pointing fingers, the top Chinese diplomat responded, Washington should find common ground with Beijing. “China and the United States stand to gain from co-operation, and lose from confrontation,” he said, adding that “both of us bear a major responsibility for world peace and development.” 

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Wang announced that China was “open” to an international effort to find the origins of coronavirus, but stressed that the process must be “fair and professional.” “Fairness means the process be free of political interference, respect the sovereignty of all countries, and oppose any presumption of guilt,” he noted. 

The United States has demanded that Beijing participate in a probe into how the health crisis began, and has even threatened sanctions if China doesn’t fully co-operate. The Chinese government, in turn, has criticized Washington for politicizing the pandemic. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has even suggested that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, while admitting there is no definitive proof for the incendiary accusation.

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