- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Chinese Foreign Ministry mocked attempts to sue the country’s government and ruling Communist Party over the coronavirus, saying health officials have been forthcoming with details of the disease throughout the crisis.

Spokesman Geng Shuang said the U.S. has “unfettered access” to information about COVID-19, and said China has been praised by the international community for its response to the disease, which started in Wuhan.

“This kind of lawsuit has no factual or legal basis. It only invites ridicule,” the spokesman told reporters, in comments provided by the embassy in Washington.

Missouri filed a lawsuit earlier this week demanding repayment of billions of dollars the state said it’s lost due to the coronavirus. The state named the Chinese Communist Party as a defendant, in order to get around the concept of sovereign immunity.

Other lawsuits are also in the works, and members of Congress have proposed legislation to strip China of sovereign immunity in this case. A similar move was made several years back giving Americans the right to sue Saudi Arabia over allegations of involvement in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

But Mr. Geng said Missouri’s lawsuit was “frivolous litigation which defies the basic theory of the law,” and said U.S. courts cannot touch the Chinese government.

SEE ALSO: Mississippi to sue China over coronavirus

“Such frivolous litigation will not help the US with its epidemic response, nor will it contribute to the global cooperation in this regard,” he said. “The right course of action for the US side is to dismiss this abusive lawsuit.”

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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