The United Kingdom has been devastated by the spread of the highly contagious Wuhan virus. From the Prime Minister to the Royal family, the virus has spared no one in the UK which currently reports a death toll of 13,729. The nation has set the ball rolling to make China pay for its sins with the Foreign Secretary and acting leader of the UK, Dominic Raab stating that there is no possibility of ‘business as usual’ with China after the pandemic.
While Boris Johnson recuperates from the deadly virus, Dominic Raab has been given the charge of the country. At a press conference, Raab stated that, “There absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event and review of the lessons, including of the outbreak of the virus. I don’t think we can flinch from that at all.”
After praising China for helping the UK in the repatriation of its citizens from Wuhan and also helping with the medical supplies, moved to claim that “hard questions” needed to be asked about how did the virus spread its deadly wings across the globe. “There’s no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis. We’ll have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it could have been stopped earlier,” said Raab.
Just like the USA, the UK is also witnessing a lot of political movement to punish China for misleading the world. Recently, the British parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee warned that the Chinese propaganda machinery’s orchestrated disinformation is “costing British lives” in the fight against coronavirus.
The relations between China and the UK have worsened so much that The Wall Street Journal, a highly influential American newspaper, published an editorial on April, 3, titled “Britain Falls out with China” with a byline of the Editorial Board. On April 6, a group of highly influential MPs of ruling Conservative Party accused China of “obfuscation of data” and “deliberately misleading” WHO. “Disinformation about COVID-19 has already cost lives. It is essential that the Government issues clear and transparent messages at home to confront and rebut disinformation spread by foreign powers (insinuating to China obviously),” said MPs.
Additionally, 15 senior members of Britain ruling Conservative Party wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who himself has been found COVID-19 positive, to ‘rethink’ relations with Beijing and hold the Communist government responsible for this. They have asked the British government to demand compensation of 351 billion pounds – the loss to the British economy due to the virus.
The study by the 15 top Tories concluded that: “The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) sought to conceal bad news at the top, and to conceal bad news from the outside world.” “Now China has responded by deploying an advanced and sophisticated disinformation campaign to convince the world that it is not to blame for the crisis, and that instead the world should be grateful for all that China is doing. ‘The truth is that China is responsible for COVID-19 – and if legal claims were brought against Beijing they could amount to trillions of pounds.”
China being true to its characteristics, is now resorting to crisis-profiteering and forcing Huawei 5G technology down the throats of the European and other countries that are facing Coronavirus crisis in exchange of medical supplies. China did make some initial inroads with the United Kingdom deciding to give the Chinese telecom giant Huawei a limited role, and France and Germany, both of whom are affected profoundly by the Coronavirus crisis also seem to be going down the same path. It seemed as if China would strongarm crisis-ridden countries into accepting Huawei, but now political pressure is spiking from the United States and the United Kingdom.
In what seems to be a direct threat to China, Downing Street had recently warned that China “faced a reckoning” over its handling of Coronavirus, insinuating that China needed to face the consequences and be punished. This sentiment will get fuelled further now that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is indisposed with Coronavirus. The recent developments will embolden the MPs who have been demanding that no Chinese company be allowed a role in the United Kingdom’s vital infrastructure. It has also been reported that the UK will cancel its contract for 5G wireless service from the Chinese 5G leader Huawei.