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U.S. busy adding to misfortune of China instead of offering help amid global public health crisis

(People's Daily Online)    09:38, March 09, 2020

As confirmed novel coronavirus cases continue to rise in the U.S., Internet users in the country are calling on the government to do more to combat the epidemic. However, some U.S. politicians seem to be busy taking advantage of China’s difficulties as the country is making all-out efforts to fight the virus, Cankao Xiaoxi, a Chinese newspaper of Xinhua News Agency reported.

Zhao Lijian (Photo/Website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China)

By March 5. U.S. Eastern Time , the U.S. had reported a total of 159 cases of novel coronavirus infections and 11 deaths across 15 states, according to U.S. media.

Unfortunately, in the face of the global public health crisis that threatens the lives of more and more people around the world, the U.S., instead of joining in global efforts to fight the novel coronavirus, is attempting to contain and attack China using various despicable tricks.    

On March 4, local time, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the so-called “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019”.

The act says the US government should consider increasing or decreasing economic, security, or diplomatic engagement with another nation as a result of an action taken by that nation to either strengthen or undermine ties with Taiwan.

The act will be sent to the U.S. Senate for approval before it is presented to U.S. President Donald Trump to be signed into law, according to The Strait Times, an English newspaper in Singapore.

“This Act is in serious violation of the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques. It goes against international law and basic norms governing international relations. China is firmly against it,” Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, said in response to relevant questions at a regular press conference on March 5.

It has become a common practice for the U.S. to contain China by taking advantage of Taiwan-related issues, according to Zhang Bin, a well-known Chinese commentator.

The difference between the passage of the recent Taiwan-related act and the U.S.’s previous moves against China is that China is now sparing no effort to fight the epidemic, and the U.S. thought it could achieve its desired effect by taking action against China in this vulnerable moment as the latter is under much external pressure. 

“The epidemic has become a new opportunity for some U.S. politicians to attack China,” said Zhang.

In fact, it was not the first time that the U.S. congress stirred up trouble for China in this period as the latter has been making nationwide efforts to combat the novel coronavirus.

Before this ridiculous act was passed, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Tibet-related issues on Jan. 28 local time, attempting to interfere in China’s internal affairs in Tibet.

Petty U.S. actions in other areas haven’t stopped either. Around this year’s Spring Festival holiday, U.S. warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait twice on Jan. 16 and Feb. 15. On Feb. 12, U.S. military aircraft flew over the Taiwan Strait after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cruised around the island.

Besides reaping unfair gains in issues relating to China’s core interests, including Taiwan-related issues, the U.S. didn’t forget to make trouble for China by striking up the same old tune.

At the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) held from Feb. 13 to 15 in Munich, Germany, while in fact many attendees from many countries spoke positively about China’s efforts to contain the novel coronavirus epidemic, and discussed how to tackle the crisis, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper kept on talking about issues like 5G and cybersecurity, trying their best to hype up the “China threat.”

Such an act was not echoed at the conference but was despised by representatives of many countries instead.

U.S. officials talked about one topic at the 56th MSC——fear of China, said German magazine Der Spiegel on Feb.16.   

After the failure of its attempt at the MSC, the U.S. rolled out a new move against China.

On March 2, local time, Pompeo announced a limit on the number of Chinese nationals permitted to work at U.S. offices of five Chinese media outlets, which were designated in February as being “foreign missions.”

The cap will take effect on March 13, when the number of U.S.-based Chinese employees of these media outlets will be reduced dramatically from the current 160 or so to 100.

It will also mean that about 60 Chinese journalists will be forced to leave the U.S. within 10 days.

Under the disguise of a personnel cap, Washington is expelling Chinese reporters from the U.S., Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference held on March 3.

“Because of their mounting oppression, Chinese journalists' normal reporting activities, the reputation of the Chinese media and normal people-to-people exchanges between the two sides have been gravely damaged,” Zhao Lijian stressed, urging the U.S. to “immediately change its course and correct its wrongdoings.” 

In contrast to the U.S.’s speeding up efforts to contain and attack China, the latter is making concerted efforts with many countries around the world to fight the novel coronavirus epidemic.

In the past few days, China has repeatedly stressed that it is ready to overcome the current difficulties together with various countries around the world, and has donated epidemic prevention and control materials to and shared its experience fighting the epidemic with countries including Japan, South Korea, and Iran.

Instead of providing timely assistance, the U.S. government overreacted to the epidemic situation in China by quickly issuing its highest level travel advisory against China, the U.S. daily newspaper The Wall Street Journal insulted China with a headline “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the novel coronavirus epidemic in China could help quicken the pace at which jobs and manufacturing return to the U.S.

"The U.S. has been less cooperative but more critical in China’s efforts to fight the epidemic,” said Zhang Bin.

At present, the epidemic situation is getting worse in the U.S., noted Zhang, adding that the country could have laid a solid foundation for its epidemic prevention and control efforts by exchanging information with China, but it chose to politicize the epidemic, which has no doubt caused serious negative influence and substantial damage to China-U.S. ties.

“The U.S. is attempting to turn the novel coronavirus into a political virus,” said Zhang.

“We were given some time by the unbelievably draconian steps that the Chinese have taken,” said Kurt M. Campbell, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, during Dialogues on American Foreign Policy and World Affairs at Washington-based think tank Hudson Institute.

 “I’m not sure we used that time effectively,” said Campbell, worrying that the epidemic could be the third major crisis for the U.S. after the 9/11 terror attacks and global financial crisis in 2007, 2008, 2009. 

In the face of global challenges like public health crisis, countries in the world should help each other or benefit oneself at others’ expense, fight together or look on at others’ trouble with indifference, offer timely assistance or add to the misfortune of others, asked Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu at a press conference held on March 5.

“The answer is self-evident,” Ma said.

  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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