China, Trump in tug-of-war over scapegoating

by Owoyemi Khaleel

China had recently challenged the way the United States president Donald Trump is handling COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

The Executive Vice Foreign Minister, Le Yucheng responded to the way both the Democratic and Republican are handling the pandemic as a political game.

Coronavirus became the latest issue to create a standstill between the world’s two largest economies after successfully succeeding years of trade talks.

In late 2019, the Chinese medical professionals first reported the cases of coronavirus in Wuhan. Some reports were censored for spreading what was claimed to be false information, including a report of Dr. Li Wenliang, who later died of the virus.

Trump, in few press briefing had previously referred to the coronavirus as “Wuhan virus” and sometimes “China virus”.

Earlier this month, both the Republican and the Democratic parties released TV ad campaigns accusing the other of mishandling the Chinese political relationship.

Le said the Chinese public was angry at the way the U.S. are politicizing the pandemic, adding that it’s not a good idea to gain electoral support with an ongoing pandemic as he described the act “irresponsible” and “short-sighted”.

“Unfortunately, some political figures are politicizing this COVID-19. They’re using this virus to stigmatize China. This is not something we are willing to see,” Le said.

While anti-lockdown protesters demonstrated in Missouri last week, the state Attorney General, Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against China accusing the country of lying about the virus to cause financial damage to the state.

“There is no international law that supports blaming a country for simply being the first to report a disease,” Le said. Adding that any claim asking China to fix the ongoing pandemic is seen as an “out-and-out” political satire.

“We do not oppose normal communication and mutual learning between scientists,” he said. “What we do oppose is arbitrary investigations based on the presumption of China’s guilt. That is something we firmly oppose.”

The Pace News
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