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U.S. has no grounds for compensation against China

(People's Daily Online)    13:42, April 27, 2020

A number of U.S. politicians, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have continuously stirred up trouble during the pneumonia outbreak by attempting to hold China accountable for the novel coronavirus and claiming compensation from it.

They have accused China of covering up the epidemic and hiding information about it, labelling China as the source of the virus out of spite.

Are such accusations justifiable? The fact remains that China is the first country to have contained the pandemic through the concerted efforts of the nation. It acted promptly to protect the health and safety of its people, actively and unconditionally shared information with other countries, including the U.S., and verified and corrected its number of confirmed cases and fatalities with big data. It has also provided assistance for more than 120 countries around the world facing the challenges brought by the epidemic, and has donated money to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help with epidemic prevention efforts.

If anyone is to blame, it is the U.S. For a long time, it ignored warnings from the WHO and China, and just sat by and watched the epidemic spread in its own country. American officials refused to take preventive measures, despite suggestions from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and experts. They remained blindly optimistic until mid-March, oblivious to the lack of medical supplies and calls for help from local governments, which then led to the worsening situation in the country.

At the same time, some U.S. officials have passed the buck on to China, attempting to stigmatize the country for a crisis of its own making. They have also frozen funding for the WHO at a crucial time, undermining international cooperation and the interests of all mankind.

The U.S. has no legal grounds for claiming compensation, and is merely trying to stir things up and bully China. After all, has anyone claimed damages for previous epidemics, such as the H1N1 pandemic that first emerged in America?

To justify such claims, some U.S. politicians have come up with various lies and labeled China as the origin of the virus. However, just because the pneumonia broke out in China, that doesn’t mean it originated here, as some of the world’s leading journals have pointed out.

Many experts in the world believe that the epidemic in Europe and America didn’t come from China. American media reported that the novel coronavirus, mixed with flu, appeared in America earlier than it did in Wuhan. Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, has recently said that the pandemic in New York was brought from Europe, and not China.

Claiming damages from China is actually a political issue rather than a legal one. It is a malicious attempt by some Westerners made out of political prejudice against China and a zero-sum game mindset.

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

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