Perspective on Pandemic: Spain PM’s Relatives Tested Positive for the CCP Virus

April 3, 2020 Updated: May 25, 2020

Commentary

Two more relatives of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez recently tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

The PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) leader’s mother and father-in-law were admitted to the Puerta de Hierro University Hospital in Majadahonda in Madrid on March 21 after confirming their diagnoses.

Sánchez’s wife, Maria Begoña Gomez Fernandez, and Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo also tested positive for the CCP virus.

Spain is the second worst-hit nation in Europe, with over 94,000 infections and over 8,200 deaths as of March 31.

The Epoch Times editorial article, “Where Ties With Communist China Are Close, the Coronavirus Follows” suggests that “the heaviest-hit regions outside China all share a common thread: close or lucrative relations with the communist regime in Beijing.”

So, what are Sánchez’s ties with the CCP?

When other countries criticized the Chinese regime’s coverup and botched response to the outbreak that caused the worldwide pandemic, Sánchez did the opposite.

On Feb. 4, Sánchez received representatives of the Chinese Association in Spain and the charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Spain, Yao Fei, at the Moncloa Palace. He “welcomed China’s efforts to achieve effective management of the epidemic and has shown the government’s readiness to face the health crisis,” according to Spanish medical news website Medicinatv.

So why is Sánchez so friendly with the Chinese regime?

Sánchez’s Political Background

Sánchez was sworn in as Spain’s Prime Minister in June 2018.
Sánchez also serves as the Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). The PSOE is historically a Marxist party that gradually turned into a socialist-democratic political party.

Sánchez has been a member of PSOE since 1993.

In 2014, he was elected Secretary-General of the PSOE, but left his post due to conflicts within the party. He was subsequently re-elected in 2017. After winning the primary election for Secretary-General, he celebrated by singing the socialist anthem, “The Internationale.”

Sánchez Reaffirmed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership With China

Xi Jinping visited Spain in November 2018, and is the first state visit by a Chinese leader in 13 years.

The two countries published a joint statement of their comprehensive strategic partnership, and relations between Spain and China were renewed. Sánchez expressed satisfaction with the terms of the agreements, according to Spain’s official website lamoncloa.gob.es.

There were 10 business agreements between Spanish and Chinese companies, including Instituto de Crédito Oficial and Telefónica.

Telefónica is a Spanish multinational telecommunications company. It has relied entirely on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei for its core 4G networks in key markets of Spain and Germany. The loopholes, or “back doors” existing in Huawei’s equipment have raised security concerns that it would enable the Chinese regime to spy on other countries.

Though Telefónica decided to drastically reduce the amount of equipment it buys from Huawei in December 2019, it will continue to buy Huawei’s radios and antennas that connect smartphones to the mobile network equipment, which accounts for the bulk of the cost.

Sánchez Campaigns for Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative

According to the Chinese regime’s mouthpiece, Xi spoke highly of Sánchez’s dedication to developing Sino-Spanish relations and his support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, also known as One Belt, One Road).

Although Spain did not sign an agreement to join the BRI, he campaigned for the project during his visits to Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, and Costa Rica in August 2018. Sánchez encouraged Spain’s Latin American companies to bridge the gap between Europe and South America, and to work with Chinese companies.

During Xi’s state visit in November 2018, both sides also explored joint initiatives between Spain and China in regions of common interests, such as Latin America and Africa, as well as the role of and cooperation between the two countries at the multilateral forums of which they are both members, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the G-20.

In April 2019, Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell Fontelles attended the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. He told the regime’s state media that the BRI reflects the reality that “China is now a world power.”

Sánchez Aligns With the CCP Amid the Pandemic

On March 25, Spain signed a multi-million-euro contract with China to acquire medical supplies, including 550 million masks, 5.5 million rapid test kits, 950 respirators, and 11 million pairs of gloves to address the medical supply shortages in the country.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said this 432 million euros ($467 million) deal was sealed following a conversation between Sánchez and Xi.

According to the regime’s overseas mouthpiece CGTN, “Sánchez expressed his gratitude to China” for its help in combating the epidemic. Sánchez added that “the Spanish side appreciates China’s open attitude in promoting international cooperation and stands ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in various fields.”

However, the reality is a slap in the face for Sánchez.

On March 27, Spanish media El Pais reported that the rapid test kits from China were unreliable. Spanish microbiologists reported that the first 9,000 tests correctly identified positive cases only 30 percent of the time, when experts recommend a sensitivity of at least 80 percent. Health Minister Salvador Illa said the government has sent the tests back to the Chinese manufacturer named Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology.

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