China keeps making itself look worse as coronavirus pandemic continues to spread

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Image: China keeps making itself look worse as coronavirus pandemic continues to spread

(Natural News) China likes to talk about what a great superpower they are, but they just keep making themselves look desperate and dishonest as they make misstep after misstep in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

When coronavirus was peaking in France in recent weeks, China could have offered support as the death toll and economic losses mounted – especially considering the role they played in unleashing this deadly virus on the planet.

Instead, however, they decided it was the right moment to launch an attack on the country. Hurt by comments French officials made about their mishandling of the virus’s outbreak, the Chinese embassy posted a message on its website implying France abandoned residents of nursing homes and left them to die from the disease and starvation.

In response, Paris summoned the Chinese ambassador and made their disapproval clear. Undeterred, Beijing then warned France that they would be damaging ties between their countries if they didn’t cancel a contract that would supply new equipment for French-made Lafayette frigates that were sold to Taiwan nearly three decades ago.

France responded to this by saying they were merely fulfilling contractual obligations and that everyone’s current focus should be on fighting the global coronavirus pandemic.

And just in case the message wasn’t clear, the Senior Adviser for Europe for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Francois Heisbourg, who has worked for the French defense and foreign ministries said: “The French went out of their way, sent a public communique saying, ‘Yes, we are sending this stuff to Taiwan in the framework of our contract with that country.’ To make sure that the Chinese were getting our meaning, we actually went out of our way to piss them off.”

Missed opportunities

China had a chance to share its expertise and equipment with the world given the head start they got in dealing with the pandemic, and they could have done wonders for their public image had they acted in a respectable way.

China has a very high opinion of itself, and the huge part it plays in supply chains around the world has indeed given them power. But even when they did try to save some face in this situation, like when they pledged to send some medical equipment to places like Italy, Greece, Spain and France, some of the equipment ended up being subpar if not downright faulty. Many people in the U.S. and other countries have expressed a desire to see their nations reduce their reliance on Chinese goods.

Nanjing University Institute of International Relations Dean Zhu Reng said that China’s coronavirus diplomacy hasn’t done too well, and this is due in no small part to a political system there where different branches would rather curry favor with top leaders than report factual situations. Zhu feels that a modest approach would do far better than their “you should thank China” attitude and capitalizing on the situation to expand their global influence.

China didn’t do much to help its reputation when it colluded with the World Health Organization to keep the coronavirus outbreak under wraps in the early days.

According to a report from the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom to delay the global warning about the COVID-19 threat in January. The report cites sources from German’s intelligence services who say that the Chinese leader wanted information about human-to-human transmission held back. The agency estimates that this move “lost four to six weeks to fight the virus worldwide.”

China had a chance to improve its image – at least to some degree – at several points despite the role they played in the start of this pandemic, but instead they chose to act with arrogance and deception.

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