By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, APR 1: China has retaliated against EU countries who have complained against medical equipment sent by China that were faulty or otherwise inadequate. Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Turkey have spoken out in recent weeks that supplies from China like protective masks and testing kits, were not fit for use.
Global Times, Chinese state media, has defended Beijing and instead blamed Sinophobia and insecurity for such responses from western nations. Such a rejection has caused China to accuse the west, especially the US, for treating China’s help with disrespect and unnecessary doubt.
Medical supplies and professionals from China have been flown to Europe to help the continent, which has become a new center of the outbreak. The Dutch health ministry said that it had recalled 600,000 face masks that arrived from China earlier this month. There have been faulty masks which either did not fit or their filters were not working, the ministry added, noting that they had already given the masks to frontline health workers.
Spain stated that 60,000 COVID-19 testing kits from China were unable to determine if the patients were infected. Turkey had similar complaints about a portion of the testing kits it had ordered. EU Foreign Affairs Minister, Josep Borrell, warned against the “geo-political component” or “politics of generosity”. He added that while China pushes the narrative of a “responsible and reliable partner”, Europe should defend itself against detractors while “armed with facts.”
A ‘Global Times’ editorial published on Monday had suggested, “Some in the west are once again politicizing the assistance China provided, making it another weapon to slander China.” “Through the virus battle, the superiority of China’s domestic governance has been fully displayed, and through China’s timely assistance to others, the country’s international influence has been greatly enhanced,” the article further claimed.
CCP has also railed against the use of “China Virus” or “Wuhan Virus” used by US President Trump and his senior allies, accusing them of racist remarks. Jacques deLisle, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an expert in Chinese law and politics, told Newsweek that the pandemic is a crisis-turned-opportunity for Beijing. This situation has allowed CCP to demonstrate its strength of an authoritarian system while the US is “running behind every other developed country in terms of the adequacy and promptness of its response”.
“The US failure of competence allows China to look very competent and to not take the heat it deserves,” deLisle added.
China has been accused of covering up the outbreak in its initial stages and for slow response to the outbreak in Wuhan. Critics have also pointed to China silencing medical workers and whistle-blowers who tried to alert the world about the virus.