Suing China for COVID-19 pandemic unfair, says Cambodian scholar

U.S. lawsuits against China over the COVID-19 pandemic are groundless since China is also a victim of the disease, a Cambodian scholar has said.

The lawsuits have no legal basis, and the U.S. state courts don’t have jurisdiction over a sovereign country, said Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh told Xinhua in a recent interview, referring to the lawsuits filed by the U.S. states of Missouri and Mississippi last month blaming China for their losses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“China is also a victim of this deadly invisible enemy. How can China be responsible for this pandemic?” he said, pointing out that some U.S. politicians used the lawsuits to seek political interests.

China had taken timely prevention and control measures since the outbreak, whereas the United States had been dodging the problem until March and become the hardest-hit country in the world, Matthews said.

The poor handling of the pandemic by the White House worsened the situation, he said.

The U.S. government began to fight the disease seriously when experts and doctors projected a death toll up to tens of thousands if precautionary and preventive measures were constantly ignored, Matthews added.

However, the U.S. president still appears in public without a protective mask when almost 100,000 people have died from the disease in the country, Matthews said.

“This is not the time for playing a blame game or pointing the finger at each other. This is the time China and the United States should stand together to defeat their common enemy, the COVID-19,” the scholar said.

“Cooperation between China and the United States will contribute to fighting the epidemic while confrontation will undermine interests of both sides,” he said.

Matthews said the U.S. administration, rather than filing frivolous lawsuits, should work together with China and the international community to overcome this pandemic as soon as possible.

As of May 19, China had sent 21 medical teams to 19 countries, including Cambodia, to help local health authorities contain the virus. It has also exported medical supplies to 199 countries and regions, including aid to over 150 countries and international organizations.

“It’s easier to blame others for one’s own shortcomings and drawbacks than taking responsibility and admitting mistakes like a grown person,” he said, stressing that the United States should stop looking for a scapegoat.

He said the White House and the Republican Party are more likely to use the lawsuits against China to distract the public from focusing on their slow response to the pandemic.

With the U.S. presidential election due in less than six months, the incumbents are worried about losing it to the Democrats and that’s why some unscrupulous politicians are playing politics while many Americans are dying from the virus every day, he said. “It’s a very sad scenario.” Enditem

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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