The Trump administration ever since the virus spread its deadly wings across the USA, has been taking steps to punish China for its sins. From underreporting the figures and hiding the true intensity of the virus to cracking down on dissenters and whistleblowers who sought to alarm the world over an impending disaster, the Chinese Communist Party has done it all. Now, influential Republican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz will be introducing a legislation once the Congress re-opens to sanction the Chinese officials involved in the ongoing suppression of medical experts, journalists, & political dissidents who tried to warn the world about the impending pandemic.
Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to announce that he is planning to punish the Chinese officials who collectively sought to blind the world over the intensity of the virus. In his legislation, titled “Ending Chinese Medical Censorship and Cover Ups Act of 2020,” Cruz seeks to punish the Chinese officials involved in the suppression of medical experts, journalists, and political dissidents as China’s lack of transparency exacerbated the pandemic.
When Congress returns, I will be introducing legislation to sanction the Chinese officials involved in the ongoing suppression of medical experts, journalists, & political dissidents who tried to warn the world about the #CoronavirusOutbreak. —> https://t.co/Aon7hINjTN
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 14, 2020
“As the coronavirus was breaking out in Wuhan, the Chinese Communist Party deliberately silenced those who tried to sound the alarm and provide the world with medical information – just as they do with political speech they find threatening. They prioritized propaganda over protecting the health and safety of people around the world – and the consequences have been catastrophic. Had the Chinese government acted responsibly, the coronavirus outbreak might not have turned into a global pandemic and hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars could have been saved. As we’ve seen over the last several weeks, China’s censorship and suppression are now not only a threat to human rights in China and around the world, they are a direct threat to U.S. national security and our economy. When Congress returns, introducing this legislation is just one of the necessary steps I will take to hold the Chinese officials involved in covering up the coronavirus outbreak accountable,” said Ted Cruz.
It remains to be seen what will be the fate of the legislation when the Congress re-opens as if passed, the Act will have the power to punish the officials who occupy the highest positions in the Chinese Communist Party.
We at TFI had predicted that the USA will seek to punish China by imposing punishing sanctions under the CAATSA. Earlier this month, we had written that, “If history is anything to go by, there is a high probability that the USA will lobby against China openly, and diplomatically the USA will eventually treat China as an “adversary” and this will mean that the world will have to choose between the two, as it could use its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) with case in point being Iran, North Korea and Russia are who are the USA’s “adversaries” and any major trade with these countries is problematic for countries that value the USA’s favour and friendship. Why? because under CAATSA, the USA threatens to apply sanctions on these countries too.”
China will suffer from grave consequences if the US decides to treat China as its “adversary” under the CAATSA Act. While this would lead to supply chains shifting out of China, which has already began with Japan leading the way, more concerning for China is that CAATSA would effectively act as a death knell to Xi Jinping’s pet project Belt and Road Initiative.