Chinese state media ridiculed U.S. allegations of wrongdoing in the coronavirus pandemic in a spate of editorials on Thursday and Friday, mocking U.S. President Donald Trump as a baby throwing a temper tantrum and repeating the Communist Party’s standard line that all questions about China’s conduct are merely attempts by other nations to distract from their own purportedly inferior responses to the coronavirus.
China’s Global Times claimed people around the world think Trump is “insane” for threatening to disengage economically from China in the wake of the pandemic. Their supporting quotes all came from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) apparatchiks and the article was brimming with the usual threats of retaliation for any action against the CCP’s interests:
“Again! Trump is talking nonsense.” Trump seems to be losing his mind right now. Even he has such crazy ideas of cutting ties with China, US politicians, businessmen and Americans would not allow him to do so, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times.
He noted that Trump is bluffing and acting tough toward China to win more support. Fox News, which has been regarded as Trump’s defender and is notorious for a lack of professionalism, is also making eye-catching news to draw attention.
Jin Canrong, the associate dean of Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that Trump made very irresponsible and emotional remarks in the interview.
“The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world and involves huge interests of the two countries, as well as the rest of the world. Therefore, it is not something he can cut off emotionally,” Jin said.
“If the US unilaterally cuts off ties, the American people will pay a heavier price than us, because China’s domestic market is huge and 75-80 percent of Chinese manufacturers are supplying China’s market, and the 2 to 5 percent that supply the US can also be absorbed by the domestic market,” he noted.
The threats advanced by the CCP through its Global Times included ominous warnings about invading Taiwan, as well as confident predictions that American consumers would suffer more than the CCP from disengagement, which sound very similar to the entirely incorrect predictions CCP mouthpieces made before the pre-coronavirus trade war:
China has nothing to be afraid of as “in the past, we didn’t solve the Taiwan question because we wanted to maintain the China-US relationship, and if the US unilaterally cuts it off, we can just reunify Taiwan immediately since the Chinese mainland has an overwhelming advantage to solve this long-standing problem.”
“Trump is like a giant baby on the brink of a meltdown as he faces tremendous pressure due to massive failures that caused such a high death toll,” Shen Yi, an expert from Fudan University, told the Global Times. “It’s like someone who wants to show his guts when he passes by a cemetery in midnight. He needs to shout to give himself the courage,” he said.
Shen also noted that the American companies and industries would suffer the most severe consequences, because the supply chain has been integrated with China.
“The Chinese public would only take such bluffing as a joke,” Shen said, adding that there has been no US president in the history who has made such a ridiculous statement against China, not even during the Cold War.
Another Global Times piece on Friday repeated the CCP’s allegations that Trump is only blaming Beijing for the coronavirus because he wants to whip up anti-Chinese racist sentiment for the 2020 election:
Trump is the first US president in the modern era to suggest the country “could cut off the whole relationship” with China. His remarks were considered exceptional, and even by hawkish politicians in Washington. US lawmakers have been notorious for making radical comments about China, while the president and his administration play the role of mediator. However, there seems to be an anti-China competition underway between the House of Representatives and the White House, and also between Republicans and Democrats.
Such lunacy is a clear byproduct, first and foremost, of the proverbial anxiety that the US has suffered from since China began its global ascension. It is also a combination of envy and panic on behalf of Washington elites who recognize the substantial gap between the US and China in how both countries responded to the pandemic. And finally, Trump’s threat is linked directly to the upcoming US presidential election this November. The Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 was weak and inefficient. It seems the White House strategy is to risk it all by passing the buck to China. Trump’s behavior is a desperate attempt to safeguard against the possibility that US public opinion could turn against him due to his lack of accountability.
The Trump administration routinely expresses dissatisfaction with China and has suggested decoupling from the country on multiple occasions. As the US presidential election approaches, until then, it will be of no surprise to hear more absurd ideas from Trump and his team on how China should be treated.
The People’s Daily on Friday claimed American investigations of the coronavirus are threatening the “international rule of law,” with a particular emphasis on the principle of sovereign immunity, which the CCP is heavily counting on to protect it from lawsuits for its deadly malfeasance in the coronavirus pandemic:
The Charter of the United Nations (UN) stipulates the principle of sovereign equality. “Equals have no sovereignty over each other,” said the Roman law. The doctrine from ancient Rome has formed the basis of state immunity in the course of history and been supported by the judicial practice of the sovereign states nowadays.
A sovereign state is thus exempt from the jurisdiction of foreign national courts, a right protected by the international law rather than a “gift” given by foreign government.
It should also be noted that the estoppel principle of the international law requires countries to be consistent in applying the rules. As some U.S. politicians found no legal grounds for butting in China’s anti-pandemic attempts, they didn’t simply give up.
To justify their accusations against China, they intend to amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of the U.S., a commitment of the country to sovereign immunity.
Such a move will not only impair the logic and operation of the international law, but trigger global sovereign litigation, causing chaos in the international legal system and putting a strain on international relations.
The People’s Daily also hammered another point that has quickly become popular in CCP writing, claiming the discovery of earlier cases of coronavirus cases than previously suspected means the virus could not possibly have originated in a Chinese laboratory and might not have come from Wuhan at all. The most extreme of these conspiracy theories, pushed hard by certain CCP officials until they sensed no one was buying it, holds that the virus was created in an American laboratory and was either accidentally or intentionally spread to Wuhan by the U.S. military.
As usual with CCP propaganda, the People’s Daily deliberately conflated the notion of the virus escaping from a lab with the idea that it was an engineered bio-weapon, using arguments against the latter to supposedly debunk the former:
With the further investigation and research into the virus, the pandemic turns out to happen much earlier than people thought in many countries. Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) made it clear that the source of the virus couldn’t be determined yet.
The joint statement of 27 well-known medical experts from 8 countries recently published on The Lancet and Nature, both authoritative journals in the world, and the reports released by professionals from America, Australia and Britain have also confirmed that the virus wasn’t man-made.
Faced with such facts, some Americans have already become a laughingstock for their embarrassing and untenable accusations.
Despite feeble arguments, some U.S. officials still refuse to halt the farce of trying to hold China responsible and claim damages. It is evident that they are plotting to politically blackmail China through the presumption of guilt.
Early cases of the virus do not disprove the notion that it came from Wuhan, either because it escaped from a laboratory or because it jumped from animals to humans. The virus could be entirely “natural” in origins but could still have been accidentally released from a lab where it was being studied.
The Chinese government consistently refuses to release data and samples that could firmly establish more about the origins of the pandemic. It has a proven track record of destroying evidence about the coronavirus and refusing to allow international investigators to perform their own examinations of the outbreak area. Long before Trump made his comments about breaking off America’s relationship with China, the CCP was using tariffs, import bans, and other forms of economic blackmail to intimidate other countries out of calling for investigations.