83% of Britons Want China to Face International Inquiry over Coronavirus

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: China's President, Xi Jinping (L), accompanied by Prince Philip (behind, not pictured) reviews an honour guard on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit …
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More than four in five Britons want the government to pursue an international inquiry into communist China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll commissioned by a British think tank.

The Survation poll, conducted on behalf of the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society, found that 83 per cent of Britons want China to face an international inquiry, while nearly three-quarters, 74 per cent, think the Chinese government is to blame for the spread of the deadly virus.

A further 71 per cent support the government suing China for damages if Beijing was found to have breached international law by withholding vital information to the rest of the world regarding the infectious nature of coronavirus in its initial handling of the outbreak.

In April, the Henry Jackson Society released a report which stated Western nations could sue China in an international court to the tune of trillions of pounds if found guilty of contravening international treaties.

The report, Coronavirus Compensation? Assessing China’s Potential Culpability and Avenues of Legal Responsefound that China had “failed to disclose data that would have revealed evidence of human-to-human transmission for a period of up to three weeks from being aware of it” as well as providing the World Health Organization with “erroneous information” on the number of infections in early January.

Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, said the polling results showed that the British public “clearly agree that seeking justice over China’s handling of the crisis should be a priority”.

“It’s now up to the government to act on its promise this week that there will not be ‘business as usual’ with China post-pandemic, and that it’s listening to the British people’s views about who is to blame,” he told The Times on Sunday.

The demands for accountability and compensation are broadly in line with Britons’ feelings towards China, which is governed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A recent poll by YouGov found that 82 per cent of people do not trust the communist Chinese regime to tell the truth about its coronavirus death rate.

The Henry Jackson Society’s Survation poll also found that a plurality (40 per cent) oppose Huawei’s participation in the UK’s 5G roll-out, with just 27 per cent supporting the plan (26 per cent neither support nor oppose it).

Despite warnings from Five Eyes partners Australia and the United States over security risks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave his blessing in January to the Chinese company, widely believed to be controlled by the CCP, developing parts of the UK’s 5G network.

Senior Tory Iain Duncan Smith condemned Huawei as “hubristic and arrogant” for attempting to use the pandemic to further its interests after the company’s UK chief executive Victor Zhang complained of the unfair “attacks” on the Chinese company last week. The remarks came amidst government concerns that Chinese interests are attempting to muscle in on British tech companies amidst the coronavirus crisis.

Brexit party leader Nigel Farage, who observed in March that coronavirus had exposed how dependent Western countries are on China for their supply chains, warned that Chinese companies are lining up for a “fire sale” of British businesses.

Concerned at the lack of political appetite to seek justice from China over the coronavirus, Mr Farage called for consumers to boycott all Chinese made products, saying: “… I pledge today that as far as is humanly possible, I will not knowingly buy a product that is made in China from now on — certainly not while this barbaric regime is in place. If tens of millions of people have the same view, then we will win. If not, then China will rule the world, and no doubt, our politicians will applaud from the sidelines.”

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