With the outrage against China intensifying, there are signs of first concrete action being taken against Beijing for mishandling the Coronavirus Pandemic, covering up its severity and most importantly misleading the entire world.
The Group of Seven (G7) seems to have made up its mind to take on China for how it has significantly damaged each of these countries in this intergovernmental economic organisation consisting of seven advanced economic powers.
Leading the charge as always is the United States, but this time around the Trump administration is lucky to find support in the European countries as well. Tough questions are being asked from several quarters, with the United Kingdom and France- both deeply affected by Coronavirus, being particularly vocal.
Speaking at 10 Downing Street, the Interim United Kingdom Prime Minister, Dominic Raab has made it clear that this is the time to ask some hard questions of China, that is, questions about how this novel virus came into being.
French President Emmanuel Macron concurs, and said, “There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about.” Making such observations in a print interview, he added that there can be no comparison whatsoever between “open societies and those where truth is suppressed.”
The United States is, of course, even more blatant and there is no element of subtlety comparable to the one being shown by the European countries.
In fact, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has gone to the extent of advising Beijing to “open up and help explain exactly how this virus spread.”
Pompeo has, in fact, almost spilled the beans by saying, “We knew that China was working on this program (at the Wuhan Institute of Virology).” What the White House seems concerned about the US-sponsored studies that included Coronavirus tests on bats in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
So, Washington was aware about the so-called medical experiments conducted at the said Institute- China’s first biosafety level IV lab, which is located quite close to the Wuhan wet market and is now being suspected the world over as the origin of the novel COVID-19 instead of the Wuhan Huanan market.
Already facing tough allegations of downplaying its Coronavirus numbers and misleading the entire world, serious questions about the origins of the virus and possible lapse at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is the last thing China would have wanted.
To make matters worse, it has been reported that the US had issued a warning in 2018 about “serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory”.
The outrage against China was earlier limited to the United States, which is why the Trump administration’s attempt to describe the novel Coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” didn’t resonate with the rest of the G7 countries and a common declaration couldn’t be issued.
More recently, US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) over the latter’s dubious collusion with China in downplaying the Pandemic too didn’t find support from other G7 members.
In fact, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other G7 members expressed mild opposition to Trump’s decision underscoring solidarity with an international organisation during the COVID-19 outbreak.
But now patience is wearing thin with China across the world and the G7 countries are in fact some of the worst affected by the Chinese virus. Six out of the seven countries are badly hit- the United States, of course, leading both in terms of confirmed cases and Coronavirus deaths.
Japan isn’t doing very well either with the number of positive cases nearing 10,000 and 190 deaths, at the time of writing this story.
Earlier, the European countries were hopeful of finding some humanitarian support from China in the form of its “mask diplomacy”, but China’s misperceived humanism has proved nothing more than crisis profiteering. Across Europe and other parts of the world, Chinese supplies have turned out to be “Made in China” trash.
And the repercussions of China’s unscrupulous behaviour are now being felt at the G7 with near unanimity on two key aspects-
i) Asking tough questions from China.
ii) Isolating the Dragon.
As the G-7 seems set to go all guns blazing, expect first signs of concrete action against Beijing from a multilateral organisation.