by WorldTribune Staff, April 6, 2020
After allowing the Wuhan coronavirus to escape its borders to become a worldwide health catastrophe, China is now cashing in on the pandemic to the tune of billions of dollars via the export of medical supplies. The communist government is even selling supplies that were donated by other nations to China as it was combating the outbreak.
China has sold nearly four billion masks to foreign countries since March, communist government officials said Sunday.
Since March 1, China has exported 3.86 billion masks, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since, customs official Jin Hai said. The exports have gone out to more than 50 countries.
Jin added that China’s medical supply exports last month were valued at 10.2 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).
The American Spectator reported that personal protective equipment (PPE) which China sold to Italy was actually the same PPE Italy had donated to China before the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
China has also increased its production capacity of COVID-19 testing kits to over 4 million a day, said Zhang Qi, an official with the National Medical Products Administration.
As China cashes in on the Wuhan virus, several nations — including the Netherlands, the Philippines, Croatia, Turkey and Spain — have complained about substandard or faulty medical products shipped from China.
Last week, the Dutch government recalled 600,000 masks out of a Chinese shipment of 1.3 million that did not meet quality standards.
China said the manufacturer “stated clearly that (the masks) are non-surgical.”
Spain last week rejected thousands of rapid test kits sent by an unauthorized Chinese company after it found that they were unreliable.
A Chinese official said the nations were not properly using the Chinese-made equipment.
“In reality there are various factors, such as China having different standards and different usage habits to other countries. Even improper use can lead to doubts over quality,” said Jiang Fan, an official with the Ministry of Commerce.
The comments echoed remarks from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who over the past week has repeatedly urged Western media not to “politicize” or “hype up” the issue.
Meanwhile, as China downplayed the outbreak within its borders, nearly half a million people traveled from China to the United States, many of whom may have carried the virus with them.
“The disinformation that China has put out is crippling responses around the world,” a Trump administration official said. “We were a month behind because the Chinese did not share information. It’s hard for the world to accept that even the information that they’re putting out now is accurate and acceptable from an epidemiological standpoint. We’re operating on some level with a hand tied behind our back.”