The country has officially declared and accused China of obscuring the facts about COVID-19’s origin and spread. It has accused China of underreporting its number of cases and not informing the world on time about COVID-19. All these were accusations, but now the US plans to hold China Accountable for COVID-19. It has come up with a thorough 18-point strategy to hold China accountable for the Cover-ups, deception, and lies. A top US senator has revealed this plan. It is a complete economic and military doctrine designed not just to punish China but also to unsettle it. We are yet to see how this strategy is executed and how China responds to it.
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How the US plans to hold China Accountable for COVID-19
The prominent Senator Thom Tillis unveiled this 18-point plan on May 14. He said that this plan is aimed at punishing China for its mishandling of COVID-19 which led to a pandemic. From an economic point of view, the US is planning to shift its manufacturing chain out of China. The US also intends to deepen its strategic and military ties with India, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Tillis intends that his plan should be a warning sign for the entire free world. His plan aims to hold China accountable for lying about COVID-19. He aims to sanction the Chinese to also protect America’s national security, health, and economy.
Another prominent senator unleashed a volley of attacks on China. Senator John Barrasso on May 14 said that the coronavirus should have been contained within Wuhan itself. He blamed the Chinese government’s cover-ups which lead to failure in containing the virus. According to him, China’s leaders didn’t just underreport the number of cases, but that they also destroyed crucial evidence. He claimed that since China knew about the risks months before it became a pandemic, it should’ve informed the world. Instead, China chose to mislead the world about its deadly and rapid spread. He called for the creation of a western supply-chain so that they don’t source goods and drugs exclusively from China.
Details of the plan
Senator Tillis’ plan aims at creating a Pacific Deterrence Initiative. This will require the approval of $20 billion worth of military funds. Deepening military ties and expansion of equipment sales to South-Asian allies like India, Taiwan, and Vietnam figure in this plan. The plan also aims at reassuring Japan to re-erect its entire military force. Sales of weapons and equipment should also increase to South Korea and Japan.
The US believes that China is misusing American taxpayer money to get rid of their own debt. The US plans to put an end to this. The plan also calls for a complete ban on Huawei which is a Chinese company dabbling in technology. It calls upon US allies to enforce similar bans across the world. The plan also throws a spotlight on China’s terrible track record in terms of human rights. It aims to sanction China for human rights violations and also for the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan also wants China to compensate the US for lying about COVID-19 and trying to suppress its origin.
Moving the Supply Chain
The plan aims at moving the manufacturing chain back to the US from China. They want to eliminate China from its manufacturing chain. This will eliminate US dependence on China and also stop China from stealing American technology. The plan will incentivize companies to produce and manufacture in the US rather than in China. The US wants to build up a supply chain that does not go through China. The plan will also bump up US cybersecurity measures to ward off Chinese attempts to hack and sabotage US establishments. The plan calls US reliance on China for its supply-chain, national security and public safety threat.
The plan also has certain aspects that aim to put international pressure on China. There is a very prominent point listed in the plan for this. It asks the Trump government to put in a formal request for a change of venue of the Olympic games. The Winter Olympics of 2022 will be held in Beijing as of now. The plan wants to put a formal request with the International Olympic Committee to change the venue.
Chinese media is state-run or government-run. The plan calls it out as propaganda mouthpieces and government proxies. It aims to stop their propaganda especially the one within the United States. China is known for handing out loans to developing nations. These loans are predatory in nature and China ends up taking over properties in developing nations through them. The plan aims to counter and expose this debt-trap diplomacy of China in order to save developing nations.
The plan also ropes in WHO in order to further mount international pressure. It will investigate and reform the WHO in order to make it fully independent. In the past, the Trump administration has accused the WHO of colluding with China to cover-up the COVID-19 spread. The plan wants increased intelligence sharing among nations to ward off potential pandemics. It also wants to form a new international watchdog. This watchdog will monitor how other countries are handling dangerous viruses in their homeland.
What China has to pay for
The pressure on President Trump to punish China has been mounting. The Coronavirus originated in China in the City of Wuhan which is also the site of Asia’s only BSL-4 lab. The Coronavirus has become a raging pandemic and has killed more than 3,00,000 people all over the world. The world is suffering from the pandemic and there have already been 4.3 million confirmed cases. Almost a quarter of these cases are in the US and over 80,000 people have died in the US due to COVID-19. Thus, Trump is being pressurized to react. Lawmakers and experts feel that the COVID-19 turned into a pandemic due to Chinese inaction and mishandling.
This is an ambitious plan that has been revealed which aims to punish China and make the US self-reliant. However, some provisions of the plan involve taking draconian measures. This is a time when protectionist sentiment should be shunned and we should all cooperate. A thorough assessment of the plan is required before its implementation.