A cardinal in Myanmar has launched a scathing attack on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, saying that it bears “primary responsibility” for the global pandemic and should offer an apology to the world.
Since first being detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province late last year, the virus has gone on to infect over 1.2 million people worldwide, with 70,000 deaths.
Writing in UCANews, Cardinal Charles Bo, of Rangoon, accused China of having a “negligent attitude” towards the global crisis, and the CCP of being “despotic” in its response after it cracked down on medical workers and citizen journalists who tried to raise the alarm.
“As we survey the damage done to lives around the world, we must ask who is responsible?” the cardinal wrote.
“Of course, criticisms can be made of authorities everywhere. Many governments are accused of failing to prepare when they first saw the coronavirus emerge in Wuhan.
“But there is one government that has primary responsibility for what it has done and what it has failed to do, and that is the CCP regime in Beijing.”
He said it was important to distinguish between the CCP and the people of China, whom he said were also victims.
“Let me be clear — it is the CCP that has been responsible, not the people of China, and no one should respond to this crisis with racial hatred toward the Chinese,” he said.
“Indeed, the Chinese people were the first victims of this virus and have long been the primary victims of their repressive regime.
“They deserve our sympathy, our solidarity and our support. But it is the repression, the lies and the corruption of the CCP that are responsible.”
The cardinal echoed concerns that China has downplayed the real extent of the outbreak within its borders as he quoted a study by University of Southampton researchers which found that global cases could have been cut by as much as 66% if China had acted a week earlier.
“Lies and propaganda have put millions of lives around the world in danger,” Cardinal Bo said.
He concluded by calling on China to issue an apology to the world for the pandemic and paying compensation to countries crippled by the outbreak.
“Through its inhumane and irresponsible handling of the coronavirus, the CCP has proven what many previously thought: that it is a threat to the world,” he said.
“China as a country is a great and ancient civilization that has contributed so much to the world throughout history, but this regime is responsible, through its criminal negligence and repression, for the pandemic sweeping through our streets today.
“The Chinese regime led by the all-powerful Xi Jinping and the CCP — not its people — owes us all an apology and compensation for the destruction it has caused. As a minimum, it should write off the debts of other countries to cover the cost of Covid-19.
“For the sake of our common humanity, we must not be afraid to hold this regime to account. Christians believe, in the words of Paul the Apostle, that we must ‘rejoice with the truth,’ for as Jesus says ‘the truth will set you free.’ Truth and freedom are the twin pillars on which all our nations must build surer and stronger foundations.”