Diplomats talk of mounting anger over China’s behavior during the coronavirus pandemic including claims of price gouging by Chinese suppliers of medical equipment and a blindness to how its actions are perceived. The upshot is that Beijing’s handling of the crisis has eroded trust just when it had a chance to demonstrate global leadership.
“Over these months China has lost Europe,” said Reinhard Buetikofer, a German Green party lawmaker who chairs the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with China.
He cited concerns from China’s “truth management” in the early stages of the virus to an “extremely aggressive” stance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing and “hard line propaganda” that champions the superiority of Communist Party rule over democracy.
Rather than any single act responsible for the breakdown, he said, “it’s the pervasiveness of an attitude that does not purvey the will to create partnerships, but the will to tell people what to do.”