Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) on Thursday said China is "growing into a respectable nation" and cautioned against holding the country accountable for the coronavirus pandemic.
"We hold China as a potential trading partner, as a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time, and as a country growing into a respectable nation amongst other nations. I deeply believe that," Feinstein said during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.
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She said that stripping foreign sovereign immunity from China would be a "huge mistake" and claimed that allowing individuals to hold China accountable for the spread of the virus could allow other countries to do the same to the United States. Her firm defense of China comes after a new flood of reports showing human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government. The Chinese Communist Party has organized the mass detention and forced sterilization of Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority, and drone footage showed blindfolded and shackled Uyghurs being forced onto trains.
Feinstein made the remarks during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting debating a bill that would allow individuals to sue the Chinese government for its release and subsequent cover-up of the novel coronavirus.
Feinstein has also benefited from her husband's relationship with China. She pushed for expanded trade relations with China as her husband's company was partnering with business ventures in the country. She said that a "firewall" existed between her political career and her husband's business interests.