China threatens retaliation against Republican lawmakers

Chinese newspaper carries report saying Beijing is threatening to take “punitive measures” against Republican party legislators who introduced bills to allow Americans to sue for coronavirus damages.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

China appears to be threatening sanctions against several Republican politicians over their moves to pass legislation against the communist country related to the coronavirus pandemic, FOX News reported Friday.

An article carried in the state-controlled Global Times newspaper said China is “extremely dissatisfied with the abuse of litigation … and is considering punitive countermeasures against U.S. individuals, entities and state officials such as Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt.”

“U.S. malicious rhetoric picking quarrels will feel China response,” the headline of the editorial said.

“The U.S. has continuously incited its allies to join in its crusade against China. This is causing negative impacts to China’s international image and damaging peaceful relations between China and other countries,” the editorial continued. “China has to fight back, as some US politicians show no sign of stopping to fabricate nasty rumors while continuing their gangster-like and cruel tactics to pressure China. If this madness continues, more countries are likely to join the shameless US blame game.”

Several lawmakers on Capitol Hill introduced bills that would allow Americans to sue China. They include Republican senators Josh Hawley of Missouri, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Dan Crenshaw from Texas and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey.

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The Global Times article also referred to lawsuits already brought Schmitt and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch seeking damages for deaths in their states caused by the coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

“China won’t just strike back symbolically, but will impose countermeasures that will make them feel painful,” the paper said.

Schmitt’s office told U.S. News it is undeterred by China’s threats, saying they sued China “on behalf of the thousands of Missourians who have been sickened and lost their jobs, the hundreds of Missourians who have died, and those who have been separated from loved ones due to COVID-19. We stand by our lawsuit.”

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn urged colleagues not to meet with Chinese companies and to “exercise caution” when meeting Chinese government officials, The Hill reported.

“Chinese Communist Party officials and Chinese entities should be shunned in the halls of Congress,” Blackburn wrote. “Please join me in warning Beijing that any Chinese agent of repression, even those dressed in business suits to disguise the green Maoist uniforms that they support, are not welcome to step foot in our offices or to lobby our staff.”

Blackburn’s comments came amid the high tension between President Trump and Beijing after the U.S. president called the pandemic the “China virus” and accused the Chinese of not being transparent about the origins of the pandemic.