Nobody asked US for compensation over 2009 flu — Chinese embassy fires back at Oby Ezekwesili

The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has lashed out at former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili after she demanded for compensation from China over the Coronavirus pandemic.

Oby Ezekwesili had stated that Africa must be “accorded damages and liability compensation from China, the rich and powerful country that failed to transparently and effectively manage this global catastrophe”.

The press secretary of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, Sun Saixiong who reacted to Oby Ezekwesili’s demand stated that it makes no sense at all.

Siaxiong who wondered why no one demanded for compensations for the 2009 H1N1 flu which killed nearly 200,000 people after being first diagnosed in the US, stated that Coronavirus is a common enemy to all mankind and may strike anytime, anywhere. He also said that AIDS was first reported in the US in the 1980s and then swept across the world, including Africa, causing untold sufferings to countless victims.

The statement published on The Guardian reads;

It is noticed that The Guardian reported (April 18th) the Op-ed by Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, China Must Pay Reparations to Africa for its Coronavirus Failures, first published on The Washington Post, April 16th edition.

The remarks of Mrs. Ezekwesili in the Op-ed make no sense at all.

We must know that, since the outbreak of COVID-19, in an open, transparent and responsible spirit, China has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures to contain its spread and conduct international cooperation. In this process, China has made tremendous sacrifices, accumulated valuable experience, and made significant contributions to the global response. The international community bears witness to and applauds China’s efforts and progress.

The virus is a common enemy to all mankind and may strike anytime, anywhere. Like other countries, China is also a victim, not a perpetrator, even less an accomplice of COVID-19.

In the face of major public health crises and infectious diseases, the international community should stand in solidarity and work together, not resort to mutual accusation or demand retribution and accountability. As we recall, there has never been any precedence of the latter.

Did anyone ask the US to offer compensations for the 2009 H1N1 flu, which was first diagnosed before breaking out on a large scale in the US and then spread to 214 countries and regions, killing nearly 200,000 people? AIDS was first reported in the US in the 1980s and then swept across the world, including Africa, causing untold sufferings to countless victims. And we don’t remember Mrs. Ezekwesili coming forward to ask the US to be held accountable? The financial turmoil in the US triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 turned into a global financial crisis. Did anyone ask the US to take the consequences?

We must understand that our enemy is the virus, not China. The international community can only defeat the virus by pulling together. Attacking and discrediting others will not save time and lives lost. We hope that Mrs. Ezekwesili will respect facts, science, and international consensus, stop letting herself dance to other’s tune, stop attacking and blaming China for nothing, and stop making irresponsible remarks.

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