Skip to content

Justice: National Review: “How to Make China Pay”

On April 6, the National Review published an article titled, “How to Make China Pay” to discuss how to hold China legally and politically accountable for all of its dishonesty and the harm it has done to people around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It recommended that, rather than rely on international institutions over which China may have strong influence (such as the United Nations Security Council) or which are corrupt (such as the World Health Organization (WHO)), the United States and its allies should engage in self-help.

The U.S. should also punish China for its coronavirus failings as an incentive for Beijing to mend its ways. Washington could persuade leading nations to join it in excluding Chinese scholars and students from scientific research centers and universities.

According to China experts, President Xi Jinping depends on a humming economy and appeals to nationalism for his political legitimacy. The U.S. and its allies could strike at the heart of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) claim to a mandate from heaven by further ratcheting up the pressure on Beijing to adopt a more cooperative, transparent stance on public health by imposing economic sanctions and inflicting serious economic harm on China. The Trump administration could enhance its efforts to exclude China from buying and selling advanced technologies, such as microchips, artificial intelligence, or biotechnology.

In addition, the U.S. should use targeted sanctions on specific CCP leaders and their supporters by freezing their assets and prohibiting their travel. The administration needs to impose pain on CCP supporters so that they will want to change policy to alleviate their own economic losses.

In addition to halting any further trade cooperation with Beijing, the administration could also seize the assets of Chinese state-owned companies. Under its Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing reportedly has loaned billions to developing nations in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, and then taken over their strategic ports and facilities once the debts fell due. The U.S. could turn this strategy on its head by supporting the expropriation of these assets by legal process and the cancellation of these debts as compensation for coronavirus losses.

Related postings on Chinascope:

Source: National Review, April 6, 2020