China Slams 'Slow' Miami Condo Collapse Response, Lack of Accountability

A Chinese state-run newspaper on Sunday cast doubt on the U.S.' ability to hold its officials to account and condemned the country's "slow" rescue response after the collapse of a condominium near Miami, Florida.

The death toll in the condo building collapse rose to nine people on Sunday, with a further 10 injured and more than 150 others still unaccounted for. The Champlain Towers South collapsed in the town of Surfside on Thursday and three days later, responders are still digging debris in search of the residents that have remained missing.

Hu Xijin, the editor for the Chinese Community Party's Global Times, called the U.S.' emergency rescue capabilities "worse than people think" and predicted that no officials would be held accountable after the dust settles.

Chinese state media slams US condo collapse
Hu Xijin, the editor of Global Times, the Chinese state-run newspaper, on Sunday cast doubt on America's ability to hold its officials to account after the partial collapse of a condominium building in Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"The slow rescue work has also made those concerned about the matter anxious," he wrote. "Rescuers have apparently made heroic efforts, but the large pile of rubble is generally staying intact as of now."

"The reported casualties are 5 dead and more than 150 missing. The US' rescue capability with emergency situations is much worse than people think," Hu continued. "There is no outstanding technique or method that can be used urgently to help break the deadlock. Many rescuers are unable to help. This is regrettable. The delay in rescue actually means that hope of survival is running out for those buried in the rubble."

As rescuers and officials focus on their search, the definitive cause of the collapse is still to be determined. On Sunday, Surfside released a 2018 engineering report of the building, conducted by Morabito Consultants, that unearthed "major structural damage to the concrete structural slab" that supported the ground-floor pool deck.

It is unclear whether any of the damage reported by the firm caused or contributed to the deadly collapse.

Hu acknowledged that "it is reasonable not to pursue accountability now," but added that "judged from previous situation [sic], accountability is also unlikely to be investigated in the future."

"So far, there is no sign that any side is to be held accountable for this accident," he wrote. "It is more possible that the incident will be left unsettled in the end."

The editor also noted that U.S. officials weren't held to account for the country's high COVID-19 death toll. "The US seldom holds officials to account," he wrote. "Over 600,000 Americans died from the COVID-19 epidemic, but so far, no officials have been held accountable. By contrast, many officials across China have been dismissed due to negligence in the epidemic fight."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment. This story will be updated with any response.