COVID-19: China Owes the World $35 Trillion in Compensation

August 15, 2021 Updated: August 16, 2021

Commentary

The “lab leak” hypothesis has never looked more credible. If the virus did escape from a lab in Wuhan, then the Chinese regime owes the world at least $35 trillion in compensation.

That’s according to Christian Whiton, a man who previously served both George W. Bush and Donald Trump. With the greatest of respect to Mr. Whiton, my father owes me “compensation” in the form of at least eight, if not nine, birthday presents, but he will never cough up (Dad, if you’re reading this, my apologies); the same, I argue, can be said for China.

Now, before I am accused of being facetious, remember this is the Chinese regime we are dealing with. For more than 18 months, the regime has lied repeatedly. At the time of writing this piece, more than 4.33 million people have lost their lives to the virus.

Instead of offering answers and agreeing to cooperate with further investigations, the Chinese regime has opted to double down on its lies. The virus, according to Beijing, likely originated in the United States, not Wuhan. This is the level of dishonesty and depravity we are dealing with here. If we can’t get one honest answer, how are we ever going to get $35 trillion worth of compensation?

In Whiton’s defense, he admits that the chances of receiving compensation are non-existent. As for the actual sum of $35 trillion, Whiton writes, although it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to put a “number on human suffering, let’s say that China should pay $5 million for every life it may have extinguished.” Now, let’s say 7 million people, in total, lose their lives “before the pandemic ends,” then the Chinese regime finds itself “on the hook for $35 trillion in damages.” With 7 million people dead, though, who, one wonders, would actually be compensated? “Their loved ones, obviously,” some will inevitably shout. But what if the deceased had no loved ones? Also, what about survivors with long-term COVID, or the people who lost homes, jobs, and business? Surely, they also deserve to be compensated.

Punishment Is a Dish Best Served Strategically

The aforementioned Whiton thinks the United States “should take tariffs and export controls to the next level.” The Biden administration, he argues, must “formally decouple” the American economy and insist that the United States’ allies do the same. Allies must “choose us or them.” The ones who choose “them” are no longer allies, and the Biden administration should terminate “alliances and trade relations with those who decline to help.” To some, this might sound like a clever plan, but I have my concerns.

Ultimatums like this look good in Hollywood movies; in reality, however, they have the potential to backfire in the most disastrous of ways. Whiton, though, does make one great suggestion: the tariffs, which were introduced by Donald Trump during his time in office, “should be extended to all Chinese imports and increased five percent each quarter.” This suggestion makes complete sense. “Companies like Apple,” will inevitably howl, “but who cares—they should have had an ounce of patriotism and not outsourced their workforce to a communist enemy of America.” Fair point, Mr. Whiton.

Epoch Times Photo
President Joe Biden (L), with Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd L), meets virtually with members of the “Quad” alliance of Australia, India, and Japan, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on March 12, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

The Quad

However, when it comes to challenging Beijing, why should the United States have to do all the heavy lifting? From Rio de Janeiro to Rome, the pandemic has crippled the world, not just the United States. For this reason, the Biden administration should use the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, more commonly known as the Quad, to punish the Chinese regime.

According to researchers at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, this strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia, and India is more than just “a meeting format for senior officials to discuss regional security issues.” It also provides the basis for naval exercises. The four countries, fully cognizant of the threat from Beijing, work in unison to secure “a free and open Indo-Pacific, taking joint action against terrorism, and promoting a rules-based system.” Why not work in unison to further punish China?

For the United States, these three countries—India, Japan, and Australia—are extremely powerful allies. Within the next 12 months, India is likely to have the fastest-growing major economy in the world. In less than two decades, Japan, not China, will be East Asia’s biggest superpower. Meanwhile, Australia, a country known for its rebellious streak, has proven to be a sizable thorn in Beijing’s boot. The Australian government simply refuses to bow down to the Chinese regime’s demands. Instead, the Australians are looking to India, one of China’s major rivals, for support. Australia’s former prime minister Tony Abbot, now special envoy to India, is currently pushing for an India-Australia trade deal.

The days of China exploiting “the West’s goodwill,” according to Abbott, should not continue. Enough is enough. There is a lesson to be learned from the Australians, and it’s an important one: the Chinese regime is not invincible, it has few friends, and it does not control the world. Now, the United States must use the Quad to exploit these obvious weaknesses. We may never get honest answers, and we definitely won’t get $35 trillion, but we can still fight for justice.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

John Mac Ghlionn
John Mac Ghlionn
John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the likes of the New York Post, Sydney Morning Herald, The American Conservative, National Review, The Public Discourse, and other respectable outlets. He is also a columnist at Cointelegraph.