Germany’s largest paper to China's president: You're endangering the world
A poster with a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed along a street in Shanghai, China, October 24, 2017
(photo credit: ALY SONG/REUTERS)
"You [Jinping], your government and your scientists had to know long ago that coronavirus is highly infectious, but you left the world in the dark about it."
BERLIN – The editor-in-chief of Germany’s largest paper Bild on Thursday launched a full frontal attack on China’s communist President Xi Jinping for his regime’s failure to come clean about the coronavirus outbreak and the massive human rights violations carried out by the Communist Party.
Julian Reichelt, the prominent editor-in-chief of the Bild, wrote to Jinping that “Your embassy in Berlin has addressed me in an open letter because we asked in our newspaper Bild whether China should pay for the massive economic damage the coronavirus is inflicting worldwide.”
He wrote that, "You [Jinping], your government and your scientists had to know long ago that coronavirus is highly infectious, but you left the world in the dark about it. Your top experts didn't respond when Western researchers asked to know what was going on in Wuhan. You were too proud and too nationalistic to tell the truth, which you felt was a national disgrace.”
Reichelt said that, “You rule by surveillance. You wouldn't be president without surveillance. You monitor everything, every citizen, but you refuse to monitor the diseased wet markets in your country. You shut down every newspaper and website that is critical of your rule, but not the stalls where bat soup is sold. You are not only monitoring your people, you are endangering them – and with them, the rest of the world.”
He continued with his bill of particulars, noting that “surveillance is a denial of freedom. And a nation that is not free, is not creative. A nation that is not innovative, does not invent anything. This is why you have made your country the world champion in intellectual property theft.
“China enriches itself with the inventions of others, instead of inventing on its own,” Reichelt wrote. “The reason China does not innovate and invent is that you don't let the young people in your country think freely. China’s greatest export hit (that nobody wanted to have, but which has nevertheless gone around the world) is coronavirus.”
The spokeswoman for China’s embassy, Tao Lil, published an open letter to Bild in German on the embassy's website on Wednesday, stating that, “I followed your reporting on the corona pandemic in general and China's alleged guilt in particular today. Apart from the fact that we consider it a pretty bad style to blame a country for a pandemic that is affecting the whole world and then to present an explicit account of alleged Chinese debts to Germany, the article ignores some essential facts.”
She added that "We note that many countries now struggling with COVID-19 have had time to prepare for the cross-border spread of the pathogen after China reported its outbreak under IHR [World Health Organization] guidelines."
The best-selling paper Bild calculated prior to Reichelt's editorial that China owed Germany €149 billion for coronavirus damages, triggering the angry response from the Chinese embassy in Berlin.
Bild said the compensation amounts to €1,784 per person if Germany's GDP drops by 4.2 percent. The Bild article was titled: "What China owes us."
China's embassy spokeswoman said the article "stirs up xenophobia and nationalism."
The Bild editor-in-chief cited a Washington Post article reporting that, “your laboratories in Wuhan have been researching coronaviruses in bats, but without maintaining the highest safety standards. Why are your toxic laboratories not as secure as your prisons for political prisoners? Would you like to explain this to the grieving widows, daughters, sons, husbands, parents of corona victims all over the world?”
He concluded that, “In your country, your people are whispering about you. Your power is crumbling. You have created an inscrutable, non-transparent China. Before Corona, China was known as a surveillance state. Now, China is known as a surveillance state that infected the world with a deadly disease.That is your political legacy.”