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Opinion

Why Communist China must recompense COVID victims

GOTCHA - Jarius Bondoc - The Philippine Star

SARS-CoV-2 spread because China broke international laws on infectious diseases, wildlife trade and more. Millions died from COVID-19, with millions more hospitalized and suffering long-term sickness. Pandemic wrecked livelihoods, disrupted schoolings and upturned societies.

Governments and groups want justice. The 73-year-long ruling Chinese Communist Party must recompense victims multitrillion dollars.

Cited in country and class suits are CCP’s irresponsible, malicious acts:

(1) CCP ignored global calls since 2003 to shut down China’s $79 billion-a-year wildlife markets. Wuhan virologist Dr. Shi Zhengli already had traced the earlier pandemic to bats and pangolins and warned there were more viruses out there. But CCP agencies continued licensing and promoting trade in endangered species. Like rhinoceros and elephant for tusk; bear and snake for bile; hippopotamus for gallstones; giraffe, zebra, fox, even starfish for meat. Pangolins are smuggled from Palawan, Mindoro and Borneo jungles.

(2) CCP covered up the Wuhan outbreak in November 2019. Doctors who first reported it were arrested and silenced. Posting social media warnings, ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was charged with “spreading rumors.”

(3) CCP closed the Shanghai lab that sequenced the first COVID-19 genome in early January 2020. Only on hindsight did it “honor” the researchers for propaganda.

(4) Pretending normalcy, CCP let five million people from Wuhan and Hubei, unchecked for contagion, to travel around China and abroad. Thus, pandemonium. The first and third recorded Philippine cases, late January 2020, were a Wuhanese couple who toured the Visayas and shopped in Manila. One later died.

(5) CCP falsified that the US Army brought the virus to Wuhan. The Foreign Ministry planted the intrigue in conspiracy-theory websites worldwide.

(6) CCP halted imports of mutton, dairy and wine from Australia for proposing a UN probe of the virus’ origin.

(7) When CCP finally acknowledged a pandemic, it hoarded medicines from abroad, depriving poor countries of stocks.

(8) CCP arm-twisted weak states to conform with its geopolitics for pandemic supplies. For one, it airlifted face masks and ventilators only after the Czech Republic sacked the cyber-security chief who exposed Huawei-ZTE’s spying in Europe.

(9) CCP delayed for eight months, then restricted and misled WHO experts sent to Wuhan. The first two investigators were denied entry visas in January 2021; only in June were all let in. CCP propagandists later muddled the negative items in the WHO findings.

(10) CCP corrupted governments to purchase low-efficacy Sinovac, Sinopharm and CanSino COVID vaccines. Clinic and field test results were fudged. In Manila, Beijing-leaning officials sat for seven months on acceptance documents for ten million Pfizer doses to be donated by the US State Department. They rushed instead the purchase of Sinovac, injected even on persons disallowed by food and drug regulators. Till now the Philippine government hides how much it bought the China inoculants.

(11) CCP took advantage of world distraction by pandemic to illegally expand territory. In May 2020 it grabbed swaths of borderland from India, and in June occupied tiny Bhutan’s Sakteng wildlife sanctuary.

In January-May 2021 and 2022, more than 300 armed maritime militia trawlers blockaded Whitsun (Julian Felipe) Reef in Union (Pagkakaisa) Banks, within the Philippine 200-mile exclusive economic zone but 600 miles from China. They poached fish, dumped trash, threatened Filipino coastguards. CCP gunboats encircled Sandy Cay, two miles off Palawan’s Pagasa Island, also in the West Philippine Sea. Last Jan. 29-Feb. 1, a CCP warship trespassed Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site within Philippine territorial waters, to spy on Marine exercises in Palawan.

(12) On pretext of pandemic, CCP quelled dissent in Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Szechuan, Hennan, Hong Kong. It is gearing to invade Taiwan.

Due to CCP recklessness, COVID set back global life expectancy. LE started low in 1900-1945 from two world wars. It rose during relatively peaceful 1946-2019, Nature Human Behavior journal notes. LE dropped again during pandemic in rich Europe and North America, The Economist reported. It can only be worse in poor Asia, Africa and South America.

CCP must pay.

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