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China ‘will NOT have to pay reparations’ for coronavirus a year into worldwide crisis

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Former US President Donald Trump pushed for China to pay for being the origin of the virus last year, as Washington’s debt has now reached more than $27trillion (£20trillion) after putting in extreme measures to curb the virus. The UK economy is also set to contract in its largest setback seen in more than 300 years, with experts not expecting it to bounce back until the last quarter of 2021 at the very earliest. Downing Street’s borrowing has reached an all-time peak during peacetime, while the Australian state of Queensland alone is predicted to accumulate more than $130billion (£101billion) in the next few years.

China is the only country expected to see growth, after its GDP grew by 2.3 percent in 2020 ‒ making it the only major economy to avoid contraction last year.

Wuhan, the Chinese city where Covid-19 was first detected, first went into lockdown a year ago and life there is almost back to normal.

The country remains elusive about the source of the virus.

Earlier this month, World Health Organisation investigators were denied entry into Wuhan to unearth the origin of the virus — the WHO claimed it was a lack of visa clearances, but China said details of the visit were yet to be arranged.

As the exact origins of the virus evades experts around the world, frustration at the ongoing restrictions is leading to more calls of reparations beyond the US.

Australia called for an independent international inquiry into the origins of the disease, although China’s Government ended up threatening sanctions against the country in response.

Writing in The Spectator, journalist Douglas Murray claimed: “The CCP [China Communist Party] destroyed the world’s economies in 2020. And we would like reparations.”

However, China has labelled such demands as “absurd”.

It is also improbable that a strong legal claim for the case against China will be found, according to commentators.

Writing for The Conversation, editor Stephen Khan explained: “In the case of coronavirus, there is unlikely to be a strong legal basis to claim reparations from China under international law.”

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The most famous example of reparations is the Treaty of Versailles from 1919, when Germany was ordered to pay back its victorious opponents for the economic losses of World War 1, which ended up crippling the nation.

Mr Khan also suggested US officials may be looking to divert the blame away from the crisis in the States, after the White House sent a confused message to the public over how to react to the pandemic.

China also released an alarming warning last May to nations demanding reparations.

Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister, said: “The China of today is not the China of a century ago, and nor is the world.

“If you want to infringe upon China’s sovereignty and dignity with indiscriminate litigation and extort the fruits of the hard work of the Chinese people, I am afraid this is a daydream and you’ll only humiliate itself.”

He also dismantled the allegations coming from the US, when he said: “Regretfully, in addition to the raging coronavirus, a political virus is also spreading in the United States.

“This political virus is using every opportunity to attack and smear China.”



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