Top German paper demands $165 billion coronavirus reparations from China
A top German newspaper says China kept the “world in the dark” about the coronavirus — and should fork over $165 billion in reparations to the Fatherland because of it.
Bild ran the piece last week by editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt that questioned whether China “should pay for the massive economic damage the coronavirus is inflicting worldwide,” according to Fox News.
“You [President Xi Jinping], your government and your scientists had to know long ago that coronavirus is highly infectious, but you left the world in the dark about it,” Reichelt wrote in the piece titled “What China owes us.”
“Your top experts didn’t respond when Western researchers asked to know what was going on in Wuhan,” the piece continued, referring to the city where the bug originated.
“You were too proud and too nationalistic to tell the truth, which you felt was a national disgrace,” Reichelt said.
The paper then called for China to pay for what it calculated was roughly $165 billion in damages to Germany.
The Chinese embassy in Berlin denied the allegations in an open letter, which accused the paper of “nationalism, prejudice, and hostility against China.”
“Apart from the fact that we consider it a pretty bad style to blame a country for a pandemic that is affecting the whole world and then to present an explicit account of alleged Chinese debts to Germany, the article ignores some essential facts,” the embassy wrote.
The Chinese officials continued saying, “We note that many countries now struggling with COVID-19 have had time to prepare for the cross-border spread of the pathogen after China reported its outbreak under IHR [World Health Organization] guidelines.”
Some world leaders have questioned whether China has been transparent about the origin of the pathogen, which is believed to have emerged in late December in Wuhan.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called for China to be more forthcoming about the early days of the outbreak.
“I believe the more transparent China is about the origin story of the virus, the better it is for everyone in the world in order to learn from it,” Merkel said, according to Channel News Asia.
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