Lawsuits For Trillions Of Dollars Against China Over Spread Of Coronavirus – Here’s Why It’s A Waste Of Time

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Apr 26 2020
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Donald Trump warned China last week that it would face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the Coronavirus pandemic. During his daily White House briefing, the U.S. president said – “It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it.”


However, Trump did not elaborate what type of actions that his administration would or could take against Beijing. Even if the U.S. could prove that the Chinese was fully responsible, which they can’t for the time being, it’s hard to imagine the Trump administration would dare to slap an economic sanction on the world’s second biggest economy.


As of now, the United States has close to 1-million Covid-19 cases and death toll of over 52,000. Trump has been accusing Beijing of not telling him earlier what was happening so that he could prepare earlier. The president has also cut funding to the WHO (World Health Organization) for allegedly promoting Chinese “disinformation” about the virus.

Coronavirus - Donald Trump Wears Mask

Blaming China for the pandemic in the U.S., Trump was instrumental in sparking anti-Chinese sentiment in the country through his constant “Wuhan Virus” and “Chinese Virus” mantra. As a result, a growing outrage over Beijing’s handling of the Coronavirus outbreak has seen increasing voices around the world demanding China to compensate for the damages incurred.


In the U.S. alone, lawsuits seeking damages for deaths, injuries and economic losses have been filed in the states like California, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Texas. Joining the bandwagon is the state of Missouri when its Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed in a federal court this week a lawsuit against the Chinese government over its handling of the outbreak.


Due to China’s response which led to devastating economic losses in the state, Missouri complained that its residents have lost tens of billions of dollars, hence demands cash compensation. The complaint said – “The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease.”

Coronavirus - Blame Game - United States vs China

All the lawsuits filed by the American states against China are class-action suits filed on behalf of persons and businesses in the United States. And that’s precisely the problem. The U.S. courts do not have jurisdiction over private class action lawsuits brought against the Chinese government defendants for their alleged misconduct in allowing the Coronavirus to spread.


China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said a lawsuit like the one brought by the state of Missouri not only “has no factual or legal basis”, but will only “invites ridicule”. Yes, like it or not, these suits will most likely to be dismissed because foreign governments enjoy immunity from suit in U.S. courts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).


Even if there is concrete evidence, which there isn’t, that China had deliberately allowed the virus to spread across the continents into America, the U.S. courts have zero jurisdictions against a foreign country. It was also a silly attempt by the Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt to argue that the Communist Party of China (CCP) is not covered by the FSIA.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt

Several members of the U.S. Congress have even drafted new legislation that would strip a foreign government of immunity for any acts intended to conceal or distort information about the existence or nature of the Coronavirus, in what appears to be an attempt to treat the virus outbreak as an act of terrorism (under U.S. law, a country that sponsors terror can’t claim sovereign immunity).


But the Coronavirus outbreak is not the same like September 11, 2001 terror attacks where 15 out of 19 of the four plane hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Even with overwhelming evidence that Saudi was sponsoring the hijackers, the U.S. government has not dared confiscate Saudi assets in the country, despite passing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) in 2016 to do so.


Forget about class-action suits filed by the U.S. states. They were non-starter to begin with. Punishing China is the job of President Donald Trump and Congress, not state governments. But even the world’s most powerful man has to be extremely careful in unilaterally and recklessly slapping lawsuits against a powerful country like China. That’s because it involves foreign policies.

Sovereign Immunity

Sovereign immunity is based on reciprocity – a shared and respected understanding that we will not allow our people to sue you if you will not allow your people to sue us. In fact, a British court held in 1894 that even if a foreign ruler (Sultan of Johor) enters another country (England), uses a fake name and conceals his true position, and enters into a contract, a lawsuit against him for breach is still barred.


If the U.S. under Donald Trump opens the floodgate of breaking the principle of sovereign immunity, which has been enshrined since 1976, China will similarly retaliate and allows lawsuits against the U.S. government or its officials in China. With the exception of going to war, what else can the Congress and President Trump does if China refuses to pay any compensation?


It would be interesting to see how the U.S. collects evidence in mainland China to prove that the Communist Party of China (CCP) had covered up the Coronavirus outbreak, arrested whistle blowing doctors, hoarded personal protective equipment (PPE) and did not put enough steps to contain the pathogen. Would Beijing entertain the idea of American lawyers interrogating Chinese officials in China?

Coronavirus - Guards in Beijing

Of course, U.S. states were not the only one eagerly wanted to sue China. Henry Jackson Society, a British conservative think tank, claims that the UK could potentially claim a whopping £351 billion (US$434 billion) from the Chinese government, arguing that China is bound by international law to report crucial public health information in a timely, accurate and detailed manner.


Claiming that China’s failures have breached at least 2 clauses of the International Health Regulations and that Beijing could be sued for compensation in the International Court of Justice, the British think tank also suggested that the U.S. could claim £933.3 billion (US$1.15 trillion), Canada £47.9 billion (US$59.2 billion) and Australia £29.9 billion (US$37 billion).


Heck, the think tank even said the G7 nations could sue China for £3.2 trillion (US$4 trillion). But the Chinese social media rubbished and mocked the British efforts to seek monetary compensation, with the Global Times reported – “Before asking China to cover the losses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK should consider how much it owes China and the world for its colonial activity.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping Visits Wuhan - Coronavirus

Similarly, the German tabloid Bild, the most-read newspaper in Europe, published an “invoice” for China demanding 24 billion Euros (US$26 billion) for lost tourism revenue in March and April, 50 billion Euros (US$54 billion) for small business and a further 149 billion Euros (US$161 billion) – if German GDP falls by 4.2% in 2020 as projected.


Besides the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Henry Jackson Society also suggested that China could be dragged to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. Sure, what could go wrong? The last time Philippines dragged China to the arbitral tribunal at The Hague and won the case, Beijing did not even bother to entertain the verdict.


Also known as the South China Sea Arbitration, the Philippines had challenged China’s “nine-dotted line” claim as invalid. The tribunal ultimately found that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, constructing artificial islands and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone.

China Bully - Great Wall Around South China Sea

When the arbitration started in 2013, China declared that it would not participate. When the Philippines finally won the arbitration case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016, China simply said it will not accept the ruling. President Xi Jinping said China’s “territorial sovereignty and marine rights” in the seas would not be affected by the ruling. Not even the U.S. can enforce the ruling.


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When a class action suit was launched in the US against the Saudi Arabian gov’t for 911, Washington froze US$850b in assets held by Riyadh in the US.

Really? Care to share the source of info about the U.S. effectively froze Saudi assets in the U.S.?

China has legal claims to the nine dashed line.

It was the result of winning the WWII when all South Asian countries are colonies who don’t even have sovereignty to legally claim any land. All countries’ borders, hence today’s world map, are decided after WWII.

What China wants is peace at the South China Sea (SCS). Not American oil companies drilling there, not American war ships sailing there interfering. Wherever the US is involved, there is no peace.

China is not the bully here. It was the US for its oil interests stirring up shit there. US is up to its usual devilment …Vietnam, the Philippines and recently Indonesia all had, at the instigation and direction of the US, initiated “incidents” to disturb the peace in that area. China and these countries have been fishing on SCS for thousand of years but the US just couldn’t tolerate such peaceful cooperation.

Besides ensuring safe passage for trillions of dollars shipping to pass through, the other important reason to control the SCS is counter the US with its Seventh Fleet Battle Group constantly cruising around China’s backyard. Together with other US military bases in Okinawa Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, China is practically surrounded. This is an attempt by China to mitigate that threat.

The US has been doing this gunboat diplomacy or intimidation for a long time when China was still weak. The reason given in recent time that it is necessary for the US to patrol that part of the world because China tries to deny freedom of navigation or make South China Sea not save for freedom of navigation is just bullshit. Why would China want to do that ? South China Sea is so vital to its economy that to make it dangerous for China’s trading partners is tantamount to committing suicide.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration is only effective if the disputing parties agree to submit to its jurisdiction, i.e. parties agree to arbitrate. The PCA is just one of the many arbitration organisations around the world that provide arbitration services. In the case of PCA, its clients include governments. The PCA does not have the status at the level of the ICJ, the only thing that PCA can claim any affiliation is simple its situation at The Hague. Whilst the PCA is set up via treaty, it is still a commercial entity.

In the case of the South China Sea action, the Philippines unilaterally, and at the instigations of US, went to PCA to get an award. China did not and had never agree to go to PCA, instead preferring bilateral talks. The PCA had never received any submissions nor considered any evidence from China. It only looked at things one-sided and made the award in favour of the Phillippines.

Therefore, it is a joke to keep harping about a “PCA judgement” against China.

Great article. If suing China is at all possible, then Malaysia should sue the Philippines for its stupid, false claim of Sabah and illegal migration of millions of Filipino that sucked so much wealth away.

Old Joe Fernández must have forgotten his blue pills again, hallucinating about 9/11 + tiga suku and Saudi Arabia and “class action and all that…

Not trying to be funny when it is indeed funny, I’ve always said Malaysia is full of half-baked, washed out, unwashed, unemployed and unemployable noisy, textbook-shagging lawyers who are very often expatriates from our plantations.

Since when chinese in malaysia became more vocal and support the murderous ccp communist china ?

Err, since the malays started throwing their support behind the murderous ccp communist china decades ago … try to ask Abdul Razak, Najib Razak, Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin, Hadi Awang and everyone in the new backdoor government, if you don’t believe …

“Since when chinese in malaysia became more vocal and support…”

I had nothing against Old Rashid Maidin, nor Abdullah CD, etc when they were chummy with the “Chinese ccp”.

At least the two plus my many Malay heroes fought the Brit colonialists while others were busy being cowering shameless stooges and raving traitors.

During the time of their massahs, and after they left, the running oinks of the Brits were so blooming useless they were totally unable to deal with a little bunch of merry commies forever running all over the country and scaring the living shiite out of the traitors!

Aye! Them “commies” were and are sometimes else!

After he died, there were still those pathetic whining little babies still terrified of old patriot Chin Peng’s holy ash, and still forever moaning and whimpering!

Like it or not, the “Chinese ccp” did wonders for their country in less than three decades what our monkeys couldn’t and still can’t do in over sixty years – and more than likely, ever and forever!

It takes a brave and honest soul to admit so, and like it or not the “Chinese ccp” had done the spectacular and the brilliant for their country!

Shows up how frigging clueless, useless, and worthless our cave monkey leaders are!

“false claim of Sabah and illegal migration of millions of Filipino”

There’s very little that’s” false”, the Philippines does have a pretty legitimate claim to “Sabah”.

And there is no such thing as “illegal migration of millions” – whether it is one or the many whose entry into Sabah was engineered by Mahathir and Anwar, the Filipinos were entering another area of what’s pretty rightly their country.

It would help “Malaysians” to know “Malaysia” was, after all, a bogus entity created by the Brit colonialists, who bundled up the independent lands and peopleto make their indirect rule easier.

That they made the big mistake of using the wrong bunches to perpetuate their rule is another story.

The Brits had absolutely no right to any patch of ground in this region.

Whereas the Philippines does have not too few jolly good grounds to claim Sabah.

Btw, “headhunters” were jolly damn useful stooges (like the Gurkhas, Punjabis…) and servile tools to serve Brit colonialism. When the “damn natives” were of use to die for the Brits, romantic tales of bravery and loyalty were spun about them.

“Headhunters” were exported from Sarawak to Malaya where they worked as tracking hounds – in exchange or the uncivilised and dirty activity of collecting heads of Malayan anti-colonial patriots and the innocent.

Otherwise, in nicer times the colonial massahs call their serfs primitive “brown monkeys” and ignored them for anything they never thought of fighting for errr their fcuking rights and their fcuking land, Hello!

The “heroes” (useful idiots) returned to nothing once their servility was no longer required, they could not become British and have a little slice of the green and pleasant land…

A group of Indian colonial servicemen, with the Vic Cross and other bits of ribbon and tin among them, on a visit to Mother England, tried to enter the servicemen’s club down Whitehall/Mayfair.

Not only were they unable to go past the front door, they were actually told to “Fcuk off!”!

“support the murderous ccp communist China”

under which enchanted coconut tree have you been dozing all these long while?

UMNO Youth has for years had close exchange and regular sleep-ins or working retreats/events with the Chinese Communist Youth League!

You might want to urgently bring your army and sort UMNO out for that, “sleeping with the enemy” under our coconut trees doesn’t appear your cuppa cha…

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