A Germany tabloid newspaper has put together a £130bn invoice that Beijing “owes” Berlin following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill has caused outrage in Beijing amid findings that Beijing appeared to cover up the true scale of the crisis, as the source of the outbreak remains a mystery.
The itemised bill by Bild, list includes a Euro 27 billion charge for lost tourism revenue, up to euro 7.2 billion for the German film industry, a million euros an hour for German airline Lufthansa and euro 50 billion for German small businesses.
Bild calculated that this amounts to euro 1,784 (1,550 pounds) per person if Germany’s GDP falls by 4.2 percent, under the title “What China owes us.”
Express UK reported that China has responded by claiming the invoice “stirs up xenophobia and nationalism”.
Bild Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt rebutted the criticism, saying:
“We asked in our newspaper Bild whether China should pay for the massive economic damage the coronavirus is inflicting worldwide.
“Xi Jinping, 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.”
“Your top experts didn’t respond when Western researchers asked to know what was going on in Wuhan. You were too proud and too nationalistic to tell the truth, which you felt was a national disgrace.”
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump warned that China should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for unleashing the coronavirus pandemic.