Economist Danielle DiMartino Booth says what China has done is no less than an "act of war" by failing to report the coronavirus outbreak while adding a pandemic clause to their $200 billion trade deal agreement with the United States.

China and WHO should be held accountable

Booth, who is the CEO & Chief Strategist of intelligence research firm Quill Intelligence, pointed out in an interview that China announced its first coronavirus case "within days" of putting pen to paper on the Phase One agreement on Jan. 15.

She reveals that because of the "unfettered travel" that took place because of China's misinformation of COVID-19, the pandemic reached a point where it was "impossible to contain, and the Xi Jinping-led nation should be held accountable for the global pandemic along with the World Health Organization (WHO) for its deference to China.

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Coronavirus outbreak in China (Representational picture) Pixabay

"WHO should be held accountable for not holding China accountable for providing good, valid data - so that the rest of the world could prepare for fewer people to die. To me these are acts of war by China," Booth said in an interview with Patrick Bet-David on YouTube's Valuetainment show.

China adds Pandemic 'force majeure' clause

According to Booth, by late November word had already gotten out that a deadly virus was spreading in Wuhan and the Chinese government were fully aware of the coronavirus outbreak when they signed the trade deal with the U.S.

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US China flags Reuters

She added that in order to safeguard its interests, China added in a pandemic "force majeure" clause, which essentially relieves the party from any obligation should there be an unforseeable event that is beyond its control such as an act of god like an earthquake or epidemic.

"Such "force majeure" language, while common in commercial contracts, is rare in trade agreements, particularly between two countries with economies so large that they are essentially immune to localized floods and droughts," notes Huffington Post.

"In late November word had already gotten out that there was a virus in Wuhan," she said. "Six weeks later on January 15, the U.S. trade deal was signed with an out-clause that the Chinese made sure was in there. That said if there was any act of God, a pandemic, then they didn't have to make good on what they'd committed to buy from the U.S."

"Within days they'd announced the first coronavirus (case)," she added.

Phase one of the US-China trade deal

US President Trump and China's chief negotiator, Vice-Premier Liu He, signed the phase one trade deal at the White House on 15 January 2020. As part of the deal, China agreed to buy an additional $200 billion of American goods and services over the following two years in exchange for a cut in some US tariffs on imported Chinese goods.

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Although Chinese officials initially maintained that they would "definitely" honour its commitments, they later conceded that the coronavirus pandemic may mean China would have to invoke the force majeure clause with regard to its promised purchases, according to the South China Morning Post.