Over the past weeks, some US individuals, entities and state officials seem to have become addicted to the idea of filing lawsuits against China for alleged harms caused by the novel coronavirus. Finally, China started to mull retaliations, according to sources close to the matter. What made bilateral ties between China and the US to where it is today? What could possibly be China’s countermeasures and the consequences to China-US relations? Two experts shared their insights with the Global Times.
Zhou Min (pseudonym), an international relations observer based in Beijing
The US has played an awful leading role in casting blame against and seeking reparations from China for COVID-19’s insidious spread. It slandered the World Health Organization (WHO) for allegedly mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus in China. It was the first country that issued travel restrictions on people coming from China. This prompted other countries to follow suit.
The US has continuously incited its allies to join in its crusade against China. This is causing negative impacts to China’s international image and damaging peaceful relations between China and other countries.
China has to fight back, as some US politicians show no sign of stopping to fabricate nasty rumors while continuing their gangster-like and cruel tactics to pressure China. If this madness continues, more countries are likely to join the shameless US blame game.
It is impossible for China to punish all forces which have attacked it. But the country knows how to punish an ill-disposed group – one should direct its ire against the leader of the group first. That being said, the US should be punished first and foremost for its smears against China.
China has repeatedly stressed that China-US cooperation is mutually beneficial. China always upholds the principle core of bilateral ties and hopes they run in a healthy direction.
However, China cannot always make compromises or tolerate those who constantly stir up troubles in the China-US relationship.
China can make a thorough investigations over whether those individuals who filed relevant lawsuits, such as Missouri’s attorney general Eric Schmitt, have any trade connections or programs in China – and make them the starting point of painful, often economic, countermeasures.
China is one of Missouri’s most important trading partners. Missouri’s exports to China supported 12,900 American jobs in 2018, according to a report issued by The US-China Business Council in April.
However, if China is to take countermeasures, it should strike a balance between making those attacking China hurt and the big pictures of China-US ties.
Su Hao, founding director of the Center for Strategic and Peace Studies at the China Foreign Affairs University
Due to instigation by certain US politicians, anti-China rhetoric continues to surge within the US. Some individuals, entities, and officials proactively echo such noises. They are thus forming a strong anti-China public opinion, which has severely impaired China’s image and China-US bilateral ties.
By hyping up anti-China sentiments, some lawmakers and influential individuals might gain greater domestic influence; and their voices will likely play a pivotal role in future US policies detrimental to China’s interests.
Some of these anti-China individuals and entities have direct or indirect business relations with China. They have been reaping business benefits from the world’s second-largest economy. Yet in a bid to pursue political reputations, they’ve attacked China on public occasions.
As a countermeasure, China’s immigration authorities may restrict their entry into China in an attempt to send them a warning: It is unacceptable to gain profits from this country while defaming it in the same stroke. This cannot and will not be tolerated.
Possible countermeasures may lead to fiercer confrontations between Beijing and Washington. But the US must take responsibility to shoulder its culpability for starting this nasty quarrel. It is impossible for China to sit idle for even one second in front of all the US malicious provocations.