A bombshell op-ed this week in Germany’s largest tabloid newspaper, Bild, joined the criticism of the UK, US and French governments towards the Chinese government. Bild (the best-selling European newspaper which has the sixteenth-largest circulation worldwide) even went one step further and drew up an itemized invoice for €149 billion.
Bild, which normally acts as the ‘underbelly of the nation’ claimed that China should start paying other countries for their lost revenue and calculated the cost in detail (as Germans would) for their own nation.
Their calculation included a 27 billion euro charge for lost tourism revenue, a hefty bill to help struggling national airline Lufthansa and some 50 billion euro for small German businesses.
The piece was entitled ‘what China owes us’ and allowed German readers to state what they thought China should pay.
China’s embassy in Berlin reacted furiously after which Bild doubled down.
The editor in chief of Bild, Mr Julian Reichelt, now addresses the Chinese government directly in an English spoken video and said: “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.”
“You rule by surveillance. You wouldn’t be president without surveillance. You monitor everything, every citizen, but you refuse to monitor the diseased wet markets in your country. You shut down every newspaper and website that is critical of your rule, but not the stalls where bat soup is sold. You are not only monitoring your people, you are endangering them – and with them, the rest of the world.”
“China enriches itself with the inventions of others, instead of inventing on its own. The reason China does not innovate and invent is that you don’t let the young people in your country think freely. China’s greatest export hit (that nobody wanted to have, but which has nevertheless gone around the world) is coronavirus.”
The Beijing government has not responded to the video yet.