Germany has sparked outrage in China after a major newspaper put together a £130bn invoice that Beijing “owes” Berlin following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Germany has followed France, the UK and the US in directing its coronavirus anger at China, where the virus originated. Recent attacks come amid findings that Beijing appeared to cover up the true scale of the crisis, as the source of the outbreak remains a mystery.
President Trump and his senior aides have repeatedly accused China of lacking transparency.
This week the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak started, revised its number of fatalities by with a sudden 50% jump in the figure.
The UK has joined US intelligence officials in investigating claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan virus lab and not a wet market.
A bombshell op-ed this week in Germany’s largest tabloid newspaper, Bild, joined this outrage by drawing up an itemised invoice for €149bn (£130b).
Bild Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt rebutted the criticism, saying: “We asked in our newspaper Bild whether China should pay for the massive economic damage the coronavirus is inflicting worldwide.
“Xi Jinping, your government and your scientists had to know long ago that coronavirus is highly infectious, but you left the world in the dark about it.”
“Your top experts didn’t respond when Western researchers asked to know what was going on in Wuhan.
“You were too proud and too nationalistic to tell the truth, which you felt was a national disgrace.”