Lawsuits against China escalate COVID-19 blame game with U.S.

No matter whether it’s the party or the Chinese government that’s sued, legal experts say the efforts are unlikely to succeed. In the past, U.S. courts have ruled that the exceptions to sovereign immunity apply only if the “tortious acts” were committed in the U.S., according to Christopher Whytock, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine. In addition, asserting that the Communist Party isn’t the state would likely just lead the Chinese government to argue that it is, since the law extends immunity to any “political subdivision” or “an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state,” Whytock says.