China Accuses U.S. of ‘Scooping Up Medical Supplies Worldwide’

An employee of the government's factory "Blakit" prepare to pack medical masks in the town of Baranovichi, 150 km (93 miles) southwest of Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older …
AP Photo/Sergei Grits

Chinese state media on Tuesday pushed back against bombshell reports of Chinese companies buying up medical supplies around the world, leaving countries like Australia with critical shortages of equipment to fight the coronavirus, whose true danger level was long concealed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), by accusing the United States of being even guiltier of “scooping up medical supplies worldwide.”

As far as the CCP and its media organs like the Global Times are concerned, all suspicion of China’s conduct during the pandemic is hysterical anxiety or conspiracy-mongering about Beijing taking advantage of the pandemic to seek “global hegemony.”

The Global Times ran down a few of the allegations it found most distasteful:

Over the past few days, some Western experts and media outlets, especially those from the US, have been suggesting that the worldwide public health crisis was the “opportunity of the century” for China to cement its place as a global power. 

An article in US magazine National Review said Friday, “China wants to use the coronavirus to take over the world.” 

The view was echoed by Singapore-based news channel Channel NewsAsia, which commented Monday “China has kept its eye on the prize of displacing the US as the go-to major power in global crises.”

Even Henry Kissinger, former assistant for national security affairs and US secretary of state, published an article on Friday headlined “The coronavirus pandemic will forever alter the world order” in The Wall Street Journal. 

Some Chinese analysts said Kissinger was more or less hinting the US should be careful not to hand global leadership to China on a silver platter. 

Brazilian education minister Abraham Weintraub put it more directly by tweeting that the pandemic would help China “dominate the world,” which he later deleted on Sunday. The Chinese Embassy in Brazil called Weinraub’s claim “absurd.”

After citing China’s highly suspicious numbers on coronavirus infections to “prove” the CCP handled the crisis much better than any free nation of the Western world, and rewriting the CCP’s deadly weeks of lying about the virus as a matter of arrogant Westerners refusing to heed warnings China was supposedly transmitting in some secret code, the Global Times quoted more “Chinese experts” who said the U.S. was clearly at fault for trying to gobble up all of the world’s protective masks and gowns — including the unspeakable crime of the U.S. government asking U.S. companies to prioritize shipments to the U.S.:

Americans are not satisfied with the way Washington is handling the pandemic, Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, told Global Times on Monday.

They also see the US as being selfish for not only being hesitant in providing help to other countries, but also scooping up medical supplies worldwide, Wu said.

Andreas Geisel, the interior minister for Germany’s Berlin state, accused the US of piracy on Friday after Washington reportedly diverted a shipment of masks intended for Germany and outbid other countries for critical medical supplies.

The White House ordered Minnesota mask manufacturer 3M on Thursday to prioritize US orders and stop exporting masks to Canada and Latin America. 

Dwight Ball, premier of Newfoundland, Canada, made no secret of his frustration over the US banning vital medical supplies to his country by underscoring that “in times of crisis you don’t stop being human.” 

Geisel backed away from his sensationalist charges of “piracy” on Tuesday after denials from U.S. officials, corporate executives, and sources in Germany, but that is not a detail Chinese propagandists would be expected to dwell upon. 

Many Canadian politicians are indeed upset about U.S. President Donald Trump invoking the Defense Production Act to forbid the export of surgical masks and gloves that are desperately needed in the United States, although the Trump administration made a deal with manufacturer 3M on Tuesday to send U.S.-made masks to Canada and Latin America. 

The most urgent lesson the entire world needs to learn is the danger of allowing vital medical or national security supply chains to flow through China, which blocked American factories on Chinese soil from sending products home to the United States, another detail the Global Times did not mention.

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