Nick Timothy branded the West’s policy towards China “insane” and said Beijing’s response to the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the contempt in which it holds foreign governments. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Timothy said any hopes the COVID-19 crisis might lead to a change in the international community’s approach to China would appear optimistic.
It cannot be trusted, it is a danger to the world: it is time for us to get real
He said: “In January, when doctors in Wuhan discovered there was human-to-human transmission of Covid-19, Beijing silenced them, and lied to the world about the dangers of the new virus.
“It refused to engage with the World Health Organisation, leaving other countries to guess the nature of the threat. And it failed to take action against its notorious wet markets.”
Mr Timothy said China had chosen to exploit the geopolitical opportunity presented by the pandemic rather than take responsibility for its role in the outbreak.
He said: “It refuses to countenance an international inquiry into the origins of the virus, and has instructed its diplomats and state-controlled media companies to launch a campaign of relentless misinformation.
“Its diplomats and media outlets are spreading fake news, claiming Covid-19 began in America.
“A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman claimed that ‘it might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan’, demanding ‘an explanation’ from Washington.
“Chinese embassies deny that the virus was ‘made in China’.
“And Chinese newspapers have attacked Dominic Raab, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, for ‘questioning’ Beijing’s actions.
“Sounding every bit like Russian propagandists, they taunt, ‘did your US master teach you so?'”
Mr Timothy said such rhetoric was not the conduct of a responsible regime in the midst of a global emergency but was consistent with the actions of a state that breaks international laws and norms as a matter of policy.
And he said an examination of Beijing’s behaviour in international institutions proved China was not a trustworthy partner.
He caimed Beijing had deliberately ignored new International Health Regulations introduced by the World Health Organisation after the 2007 SARS outbreak which also began in China but was still praised by WHO chiefs in the early days of te pandemic.
Mr Timothy said: “The WHO has parroted China’s version of events about COVID-19, repeating Beijing’s early lines about the transmissibility of the virus and praising the Chinese response.”
He also listed questionable Chinese practices which had given it infeluential positions within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations (UN) and warned of its growing military aggression in the South China Sea.
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He warned: “That is the reality of dealing with communist China. It will abrogate its treaty responsibilities. It will cover up the truth. It will bully and intimidate its neighbours.
“It will capture international institutions and use them for its own purposes. It will abuse international laws and norms until it gets what it wants.
“It cannot be trusted, it is a danger to the world: it is time for us to get real.”
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