A major German newspaper has put together a 130-billion-pound invoice that China “owes” Berlin. First reported by Express UK, Germany has sent the bill summing up the damages caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Since the pandemic began in the mainland in December 2019, European powers including Germany, France, the UK, and the US have criticised China.
The largest tabloid newspaper Bild took the attack on China one step further by coming up with an itemised invoice of Euros 149 billion. According to international media reports, the list includes Germany’s tourism revenue of Euro 27 billion, euro 7.2 billion for the country’s film industry, a euro million per hour for German airline Lufthansa and euro 50 billion for small businesses in the country. With the title “What China owes us”, the tabloid paper even calculated that Beijing owes euro 1,784 to each German citizen if the country’s GDP falls by 4.2 per cent.
The British media outlet even reported China's response to the invoice by Bild saying it “stirs up xenophobia and nationalism”. However, German tabloid’s editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt reacted to the criticism and called Chinese President Xi Jinping as “too proud and too nationalistic” to inform the world about the dangers caused by the coronavirus and accused him to keep the world “in the dark”. Meanwhile, even US President Donald Trump who has long acknowledged the coronavirus as "Chinese Virus", has said that China should face consequences if it was "knowingly responsible" for covering up the outbreak of COVID-19 disease.
Earlier, an Israel-based attorney had said that China can be 'legally held accountable' for 'cover-ups' related to the coronavirus outbreak. Trump had earlier called the COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” because it had originated from the mainland and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had blamed China, Russia and Iran for spreading misinformation about the novel virus. According to international media reports, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner has said that an argument can be made in a similar way it is made for terrorism which is “legally actionable”. He said that any government that engages in “reckless disregard and negligence” and “covers up an epidemic” which has the potential to spread to the entire world can be held liable by the law. Nitsana, who has a specialization in suing terrorist regimes and state sponsors who practice a violation of human rights on behalf of the victims, was quoted in a report by an international media outlet.