China claims to be doing the world a favour by profiteering from the Covid-19 pandemic

China is encouraging factories to increase production of medical supplies. (Photo courtesy: India Today)

(, Apr06’20) – China is encouraging factories to increase production of medical supplies to profit from the raging Covid-19 pandemic which has killed the export market worldwide for other kinds of products. Its exports of medical supplies from Mar1 had registered 10.2 billion yuan (about US$1.43 billion) as of Apr 4, reported the official Xinhua news agency Apr 6. Also, Beijing has forced Italy to buy back tons of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) the latter had donated to it earlier when the pandemic was raging in China.

The report cited Jin Hai, an official with the General Administration of Customs, as saying at a news briefing Apr 5 that the items of exported medical supplies included 3.86 billion face masks, 37.52 million protective suits, 2.41 million infrared thermometers, as well as ventilators, testing kits and goggles.

In doing so, China claims to have “actively joined hands with the rest of the world to stem the novel coronavirus disease”, which it had unlashed on the world from late 2019.

Numerous nations – including the Netherlands, the Philippines, Croatia, Turkey and Spain – have complained about substandard or faulty medical products they had been sold by China.

What is more, at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, Italy had donated PPE to China. Now Italy is in dire need of them and China wants to sell them to the donor country, reported the ANI new service Apr 5, citing the Spectator magazine.

The report said that in an attempt to restore its humanitarian image following the crisis, China projected to the world that it would donate PPE to Italy.

But it was later revealed to be not a humanitarian gesture but a business: Beijing had actually sold, not donated, the PPE to Italy, the report cited several media reports as pointing out.

In fact, The Spectator report has said it was much worse than that: China actually “forced Italy to buy back the PPE supply that it gave to China during the initial coronavirus outbreak.”

“Before the virus hit Europe, Italy sent tons of PPE to China to help China protect its own population,” a senior Trump administration official was quoted as saying.

“China then has sent Italian PPE back to Italy – some of it, not even all of it … and charged them for it,” he was reported to have added.

“It’s so disingenuous for Chinese officials now to say we are the ones who are helping the Italians or we are the ones who are helping the developing world when, in fact, they are the ones who infected all of us,” the senior Trump administration official was quoted as saying.


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