A new report from the UK think tank The Henry Jackson Society, China should be held financially responsible for their cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan. The conservative Brits argue that Beijing has caused more than 60,000 deaths and trillions of dollars in global economic damage with their initial secrecy. The report says that China should be sued for more than $6 trillion in damages to make up for the amount of money G7 nations have spent to keep their economies from collapsing under the weight of the coronavirus shutdown.
From The Sydney Morning Herald:
According to the report, Coronavirus Compensation, by conservative London think tank The Henry Jackson Society, China could be sued under 10 possible legal avenues, including the International Health Regulations, which were beefed up after the SARS outbreak, which China also tried to cover up.
The report said had China provided accurate information at an early juncture, “the infection would not have left China.”
China only reported the disease to the WHO on December 31 and said there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.
Yet whistleblower medics, including Li Wenliang, were reprimanded for raising the alert. Some were confident the disease was spreading between humans before this date.
Reporting by the South China Morning Post has cited Chinese government documents that identified nearly 200 cases of coronavirus by December 27.
The International Health Regulations says nations must monitor and share data related to the spread, severity, and transmission of any pathogens that are potentially transmissible internationally.
“Taking action would require both courage and global solidarity,” the report said. “In its early response, Wuhan and Hubei breached [International Health] Regulations…responsibility goes to the top of the regime. It appears more than probable that the Chinese Communist Party’s response to COVID-19 was in breach of international law.”
In remarks to the Sydney Morning Herald, report co-author Matthew Henderson said that Chinese citizens had also been penalized by their government’s brutal lack of early action.
“They are innocent victims, like the rest of us. This is the fault of the CCP,” Henderson said. “The Chinese Communist Party has learnt no lessons from its failure in the SARS epidemic. Their repeated blunders, lies and disinformation, from the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, have already had far more deadly consequences.”
Well, there’s no question about that. We’re not sure what the legal mechanisms would be to sue China for this disaster, and we’ve got little faith that Beijing would abide by an international ruling in the first place. That said, if this isn’t the avenue through which to collect remunerations, there must be another. Whether that requires a full-scale restructuring of international trade agreements, new rules about how and when U.S. companies can do business in China, or even economic sanctions will remain to be seen.
Whatever the ultimate solution might be, it is clear that the CCP and Xi Jinping bear responsibility for this disaster. The world must ensure that the consequences are just.