by WorldTribune Staff, April 7, 2020
People died and economies collapsed as the result of China’s coronavirus negligence. Many are calling on China to pay for the damage it maliciously inflicted on the world.
But how can China be forced to pay up?
A lawsuit against China which seeks $20 trillion in damages has been filed in Texas, and there is a similar one in Florida. There is also a case in Nevada.
James Kraska of the U.S. Naval War College, citing the International Law Commission’s 2001 Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and the 2005 International Health Regulations, believes China can be found liable for money damages.
“There does not seem to be a practical judicial remedy in America,” Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China”, wrote in an April 6 analysis for The National Interest. “Cases in U.S. courts are unlikely to get far because of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.”
There is also the International Court of Justice, but “China can refuse to submit to its jurisdiction,” Chang wrote.
So what will countries do? “Denied access to courts, the aggrieved can take matters into their own hands. They can, for instance, seize China’s assets,” Chang wrote. “Americans have been talking about confiscating China’s hoard of U.S. Treasury obligations, in excess of $1 trillion.”
Chang continued: “China would excoriate Washington, claiming that such an action was a repudiation of indebtedness. It would also bash America as an irresponsible steward of the global financial system. Yet Beijing could not make that claim stick if the issuers of other major currencies — London, Brussels, Bern, Ottawa, and Tokyo, for example — also confiscated assets at the same time.”
Of course, Chang noted, “Beijing could retaliate by seizing assets in China, but that is not going to help them. Chinese officials desperately need the help of foreign businesses to revive an economy that is in the midst of a coronavirus-caused contraction. China has no good retaliatory options.”
Chang continued: “There’s nothing Beijing can do to ever make countries whole for maliciously spreading the coronavirus because there is no real compensation for lives lost and to be lost. Yet the world must express its indignation and take actions that impose great costs on the Chinese state. If nothing else, doing so will help deter China and other malign actors from causing such harm again.
“China committed a crime against the world, and somehow it must pay.”