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Statement by Press Secretary of the Embassy of China in Nigeria

Our attention has been drawn to some recent local media reporting that “Nigerians drag China to court and seek compensation over COVID-19 Pandemic.” The attempt to file frivolous lawsuits is a shoddy one, as it has zero basis in fact, law or international precedence. The Embassy made its position on this issue very clearly in a statement issued on April 30 and here wishes to reiterate it:

COVID-19 has caught the whole world by surprise. China, like other countries, is a victim. Confronted by an unknown virus, we have acted responsibly to protect people’s life and health and safeguard global public health.

China was the first country to report cases to WHO and promptly share information with relevant countries and regions, the first to sequence the genome of the virus and share it with the world, and the first to publish guidelines for treatment and containment. Once we sensed the severity of the situation, we made a tough decision that cut off the route of transmission in the shortest possible time and stopped the fast-spreading virus in its tracks. All this was achieved at an enormous cost and with huge sacrifice. China’s record of COVID-19 response is there for the world to see, with a clear timeline and solid facts that will stand the test of time and history.

Some people are clamoring for so-called “accountability and compensation” from a victim of COVID-19 and they are fabricating so-called “evidence” for frivolous lawsuits. These people are trampling on international rule of law and betraying human conscience. Their action does not square with facts, stand up to reason or have any legal foundation.

China and Nigeria have always been a community with a shared future. In the fight against COVID-19, solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon. At this critical moment, we once again urge some Nigerian legal practitioners to do more things to enhance mutual trust and help pandemic prevention and control in both countries, rather than dancing to the tune of a certain country to hype up the situation.

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