Germany’s largest Tabloid ‘Bild’ has put together a bill of £130 billion to be paid by China to Germany for economic damages caused due to the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Bild created an itemised invoice that included Germany’s lost tourism revenue (€ 27 billion), loss to small businesses (€ 50 billion), loss to the German film industry(€ 7.2 billion), and loss to Lufthansa airlines (€ 1 million/ hour). The total bill to be paid by China thus amounted to a total of € 149 billion (£130 billion).
The newspaper further stated that China owed £1,550 per person in Germany, assuming that there would be a shortfall of 4.2% in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the pandemic.
Accusations by China and the Tabloid’s response
China accused the German Tabloid of stirring up “xenophobia and nationalism.” Julian Reichelt, the Editor-in-Chief of Bild, alleged that the Chinese Embassy in Berlin had written him an open letter as they were unhappy about their Coronavirus coverage.
Responding to the accusations by China, Julian said, “Your top experts did not respond when Western researchers asked to know what was going on in Wuhan. You were too proud and too nationalistic, to tell the truth, which you felt was a national disgrace.”
He stated that the Chinese Premier Xi Jinping ruled through the power of “surveillance”, without which he would not have been the President in the first place. Julian called out China for curbing freedom of speech by shutting down newspapers that are critical of his government. He added that state-sponsored surveillance is a denial of freedom and creativity.
He rebuked, “Your embassy tells me that I am not living up to the traditional friendship of our peoples. I suppose you consider it a great friendship when you now generously send masks around the world. This isn’t friendship, I would call it imperialism that is hidden behind a smile – a Trojan Horse.”
France rebukes China
This is not the first time that a country questioned China’s handling of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. In an interview with the Financial Times, French President Emmanuel Macron said it is ‘naive’ to say that China dealt better with coronavirus.
On being asked that China’s authoritarian response to control the coronavirus outbreak has exposed the weakness of western countries, Macron said, “Given these differences, the choices made and what China is today, which I respect, let’s not be so naive as to say it’s been much better at handling this. We don’t know. There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about.”
US threatens retaliation
During a press conference at the White House on Saturday, US President Donald Trump threatened China with “consequences” if it is found that they were “knowingly responsible” for the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus. He added, “It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t. And now the whole world is suffering because of it. If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences.”
He also raised questions about the low Chinese figures on Coronavirus-related deaths in the country. Trump reiterated, “The number’s impossible,” he said. “It’s an impossible number to hit.