China’s ambassador to the US wants American politicians to stop blaming the Communist nation for the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus pandemic, he wrote in an op-ed.
In a column published in the Washington Post Tuesday, Ambassador Cui Tiankai wrote that “the absurd mind-set of ‘always blame China’” has been “an unnecessary burden” for the nation, “undercutting international efforts to curb the virus.”
“Simply put, for some people, China has to be wrong, regardless of the facts,” he continued.
“When China took the decisive step to lock down Wuhan, critics dismissed the move as a medieval practice that violated human rights, something typical of an ‘authoritarian’ China. When China provided updates about the outbreak, they labeled objective facts as disinformation and propaganda,” Cui remarked, “The nature of China’s political system dominates the content of their attacks, and the Communist Party is the ultimate target of their barrage.”
Cui went on to say that as China began to get the outbreak under control, COVID-19 cases began skyrocketing elsewhere.
As a result, he wrote, “a few American politicians switched to their default setting of blaming others, ignoring that China has done its best in responding to a new virus.”
China has faced a wave of international condemnation over its handling of the virus, but has repeatedly denied any cover-ups or wrongdoing.
Despite their assurance that they reacted swiftly and appropriately to the crisis, the Chinese Communist Party didn’t launch a national plan to combat the pandemic until the first case was reported outside China, which occurred on January 13 in Thailand.
The Chinese ambassador then listed a set of what he claimed to be “facts” to dispute that the country was to blame for the mishandling of the virus.
First, he argued, China “had taken strict measures and made huge sacrifices” to get the pandemic under control, something he says “bought precious time for the world.”
Cui then disputed the global view that China had not been transparent by neglecting to share information about the virus, arguing that the country had “done its best.”
He referenced a doctor in Hubei province reporting three suspicious cases on December 27. After those cases were reported, according to Cui, “local and central governments conducted investigations on the ground.”
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Cui said that within a week of those cases, China began briefing the World Health Organization, the US and the world.
What Cui neglects to mention, however, is that more than 3,000 unknowing individuals were exposed and infected over the course of that week, while Chinese leadership remained silent.
China opted against canceling a mass banquet in Wuhan that week, and millions of Chinese people began traveling for Lunar New Year festivities.
It is unclear if Cui was referring to Li Wenliang, a doctor who sounded the alarm bells in December over the novel coronavirus only to be interrogated and silenced by Chinese government officials.
Li died of coronavirus in February. His death sparked an outpouring of grief in the Communist country, and Beijing later called him a martyr.
Two Chinese internet activists and one of their girlfriends were detained by police for weeks in Beijing because they archived articles on the pandemic that were censored by the Communist regime.
The activists were charged with “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” an accusation frequently used against political activists in China.
The ambassador acknowledged that the first known case of the virus was in Wuhan, China, but said “this means only that Wuhan was the first victim of the virus. To ask a victim for compensation is simply ridiculous.”
His comment came in response to the growing wave of US lawmakers who have proposed multiple pieces of legislation targeting their adversary in an effort to hold China accountable for their role in the virus’ spread.
“Blaming China will not end this pandemic. On the contrary, the mind-set risks decoupling China and the United States and hurting our efforts to fight the disease, our coordination to reignite the global economy, our ability to conquer other challenges and our prospects of a better future. The United States would not emerge as a winner from this scenario.”
Just one day after the op-ed was published, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying challenged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make public the evidence he’s seen to back up his claim that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory.
“Enormous evidence? Then show us,” Hua said Wednesday while speaking to reporters, “Mr. Pompeo cannot present any evidence because he hasn’t gotten any. I think this matter should be handled by scientists and professionals instead of politicians.”
Pompeo has become a target of the global superpower in the past week, using its state media sources to unleash a flurry of propaganda against the chief US diplomat.
Newscasters have referred to him as the “common enemy of mankind” and accused him of “spreading a political virus.”
Images of Pompeo with the word “liar” stamped across his face have even been broadcast on TV screens in Beijing’s subways.
With Post wires