Serbian President Aleksander Vučić threw a tantrum this week of a kind that should give us pause for thought. “European solidarity does not exist,” he raged. “That was a fairy tale on paper.” He complained that recently, Europe had sought to force Serbia to reduce its reliance on goods from China and import from Europe instead. Now that Serbia needs goods from Europe, though, “Serbian money is worth nothing.”
Serbia, which isn’t yet a member of the European Union club, would like to purchase protective suits and face masks from Europe to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic. But Europe isn’t selling because “medical goods can only be exported to non-EU countries with the explicit authorization of the EU governments,” as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced earlier this week. “This is the right thing to do, because we need that equipment for our health-care systems.”
So Vučić wrote a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, certain that Beijing would jump in to fill the void. “I believe in my brother and friend Xi Jinping, and I believe in China’s help,” he wrote.
“A Friend In Need Is a Friend Indeed”
It’s a crazy situation: The government that initially tried to cover up the coronavirus outbreak, then implemented radical measures to fight it and slowly got it under control at great cost, is now being seen by a European leader as the savior in the corona crisis. And Beijing was more than happy to accept the compliment. “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” wrote Chinese state news agency Xinhua. “When handshakes are no longer encouraged in Europe, China’s helping hand could make a difference.”
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To see the daily new cases and deaths in the top eleven countries go to
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“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight week period,” Governor Newsom of California wrote on 3/19/2020.