Chinese has accused the U.S. of deploying the coronavirus in China.
And now they’re threatening to withhold medicine made in China from the United States.
Xinhua, the state-run media agency, claimed in an article that China could impose pharmaceutical export controls, which would plunge America into “the mighty sea of coronavirus.”
“If China retaliates against the United States at this time, in addition to announcing a travel ban on the United States, it will also announce strategic control over medical products and ban exports to the United States. Then the United States will be caught in the ,ighty sea of coronavirus,” one translation said.
“Though the United States is a global leader in research, much of the manufacturing of life-saving drugs has moved overseas. The last American manufacturing plant to make a key component in penicillin shuttered in 2004,” Fox News reports. “Since then, Chinese pharmaceuticals companies have moved in and taken over, supplying between 80 percent and 90 percent of U.S. antibiotics, 70 percent of acetaminophen and about 40 percent of heparin, according to Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.”
“If China shut the door on exports of core components to make our medicines, within months our pharmacy shelves would become bare and our health care system would cease to function,” Rosemary Gibson, a senior adviser with the Hastings Center and an author of “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” told the New York Times.
“In the event of a natural disaster or global pandemic, then the United States will wait in line with every other country for essential medicines,” she said.
China has other items it can cut off, the Times reported. “China does not appear to be explicitly blocking the export of pharmaceuticals, though it has cut off exports of face masks by requiring manufacturers to sell masks straight to the government for distribution, leaving none to send overseas.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao, who also serves as deputy director-general of the ministry’s Information Department, claimed on Thursday that the U.S. is responsible for the coronavirus in China.
“When did patient zero begin in US?” Zhao wrote on Twitter. “How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” the Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak began.”
Mr. Zhao also referred to a group called the Centre for Research on Globalization, that published an article under the headline “Further evidence that the virus originated in the U.S.”