The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has berated a former World Bank vice president and education minister in Nigeria, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, for asking China to compensate Africa nations for the economic turmoil being suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak that originated from China.
The press secretary of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Sun Saixiong said the virus was the enemy here and not China, suggesting that Oby Ezekwesili’s demand for hundreds of billions of dollars in compensation made no sense.
He said, “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.”
Saixiong insisted that China had made tremendous sacrifices, accumulated valuable experience, and made significant contributions to the global response.
“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,” he stated
He also wondered if any demanded compensation from the United States for the 2009 H1N1 flu, which killed about 200,000 people across the world after breaking out first in the US.
“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,” Saixiong added.