Recently, there has been a clamour in some Western countries accusing China of spreading COVID-19, and shouting for huge compensation claims against the country. This “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” is groundless, contrary to common sense, and even more inhuman.
It reflects the ugly side of some people as human beings, and is the most virulent strain of “political virus” concocted by a few Western politicians and media for political purposes.
- China was the first to report the novel coronavirus, but more and more evidence shows that it had earlier been quietly circulating outside China.
The “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” accuses China of spreading the virus and uses it as a basis for the claim. Apart from the irrationality, inhumanity and morality of such a call, as far as the origin of the virus is concerned, we must not let the politicians tell us anything.
We should listen to scientists’ conclusions based on scientific research. Firstly, there is general scientific consensus that this virus originated in nature. Secondly, although China was the country affected by the first wave of the novel coronavirus epidemic, the latest scientific findings show that the virus had been quietly circulating outside China earlier last year, while people did not realise that it was a new type of virus at that time.
A team from the University College London Genetics Institute has genetically analysed the virus from more than 7,600 patients infected by COVID-19 in multiple countries around the world, and found that the virus has been spreading steadily around the world since the second half of last year.
In the US, where influenza killed 14,000 people last year, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr Robert Redfield, said in March that some COVID-19 deaths have been mis-diagnosed as flu-related. Michael Melham, the mayor of Belleville, New Jersey, said he has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, adding that he contracted the novel coronavirus in November last year.
Dr Michel Schmitt form the Albert Schweitzer hospital in Colmar, eastern France, said in a statement that the first cases of contamination with COVID-19 were identified on 16 November at this hospital. The cause of the so-called “Vaping-Related Lung Illness” outbreak in the US in the fall of 2019 has been inconclusive, and its patients’ typical symptoms and medical chest radiographs are highly similar to those infected with COVID-19.
If China had not first indentified and reported the coronavirus, nor determined the virus gene sequences quickly, let along shared it with the rest of the world, we would probably still know nothing about this novel coronavirus. We would remain thinking it is an “unknown pneumonia”, and not work hard against this new “enemies of the human” by proper testing and developing targeted drugs and vaccines against it.
As the first country to identify the novel coronavirus and share it with the world, China has made a great contribution to mankind’s recognition of and victory over the virus. Therefore, it is absolutely absurd, and even more shameless, to argue for so-called “compensation” from China.
- The politicians and forces who put forward the “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” are devoid of human conscience, and create a more poisonous “political virus”.
The coronavirus is the common enemy of mankind. China was the first country to unveil this enemy and gradually understand its features, the first country to meet it head-on and fight a bitter battle with it, the first country to blow the warning whistle to rest of the world by a huge sacrifice and paying of prices, and the first country to share the experience combating the coronavirus with the world openly, transparently and selflessly going through in the form of “live show”.
When COVID-19 was raging in China, it received help and support from many countries, including Egypt, which will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people and will be reciprocated. However, some Western politicians and media outlets have put away conscience and humanity, sitting on the sidelines, gloating and even adding insult to injury, consistently ignoring the World Health Organization’s (WHO) continued warnings, missing the precious window period of two months, and which led to a pandemic in their own countries.
Even more surprisingly, these politicians have not reflected on their own mistakes or gone all out to save lives, but have begun to shift focus and make China the biggest scapegoat, sparing no effort to attack and blame China for the miserable tragedy in their country. Some politicians, for their own selfish intention, and in cahoots with some media, are tirelessly fabricating lies and fake news to brainwash innocent people, spreading more vicious “political viruses” than the coronavirus, and portraying China, which is also a victim, as an “enemy” and “sinner”.
The “political viruses” against China includes several strains, such as “the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory”, “China is concealing the epidemic”, “China’s mask diplomacy”, “China is manipulating the WHO”, etc.
Between the lines there is the consistent pride, envy, ignorance and greed of some Westerners. The “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” is one of the most virulent strains of theses “political viruses”.
Such a demand is irrational, legally baseless and without precedent. Furthermore, such a fallacy violates basic human conscience and human nature. Based on a soul of evil, it spreads hatred, sows disgust, substitutes good for bad, evil over justice, and madness for reason.
As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put it, “My hair stands on end when I hear such things. It is completely unacceptable.”
How can we blueprint the bright future of human society if such evil is allowed to spread in the world? We should not allow a small number of politicians and ill-intentioned media outlets to run amock. Nor should we allow lies and disgust to blind the good people, and lead the suffering mankind into senseless conflicts. We must kill such “political viruses”.
- Only through global cooperation can we defeat the virus as soon as possible, and China and Egypt are cooperating closely to confront the epidemic.
There is nothing like a global health crisis to demonstrate the fact that the destiny of mankind is closely interlinked, and there is nothing like global cooperation to highlight the urgency of building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind. More than ever before, the human race must unite.
While some Western politicians and media have created “political viruses” and fired “poisoned arrows” at China, China is actively cooperating with other countries in fighting the pandemic, sharing its experience and providing medical supplies and technical assistance.
China has provided more than $10bn worth of anti-epidemic supplies to the world, sending 21 medical expert teams to multiple countries and holding more than 70 video conferences with experts from over 150 countries and international organisations.
China is carrying out its most intensive and wide-ranging emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Behind these actions lies the vision of building a “Community of Common Health for Mankind”. It embodies the commitment of a great nation, and shines the humanitarian light of putting life first and helping people in need.
Whether it is smallpox, which has raged for thousands of years, or the Spanish flu, or other epidemic diseases like AIDS and Ebola, human beings have never treated each other as enemies because of diseases, and always targeted the diseases as our enemies, defeated it or controlled it.
When dealing with the very cunning coronavirus, humans need to muster all their strength and wisdom to fight as one. Cooperation is the only way out for the world. This is the consensus of all the right forces.
Egypt, as one of the founding members of the non-aligned movement, with its political foresight and global vision, is playing a positive role in the global fight against COVID-19 and will continue to play. We believe that with firm confidence in ourselves and joint efforts, we will be able to dispel lies, defeat the COVID-19 as early as possible, and safeguard the health and well-being of mankind and create a better future.
（Author: Dr He Wenping, Research Project Director, Professor of Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences）