China Slams Trump's Decision to Take The US Out of The World Health Body

Published July 9th, 2020 - 01:09 GMT
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian (Twitter)
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian (Twitter)
Highlights
President Trump has harshly criticised the WHO over its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused it of bowing to Chinese influence.

China has defended the World Health Organisation (WHO) and slammed American President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the health body.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the WHO was 'the most authoritative and professional international institution in the field of global public health security.'

Mr Zhao also criticised America's move as 'another demonstration of the US pursuing unilateralism, withdrawing from groups and breaking contracts'. 

China has defended the World Health Organisation (WHO) and slammed American President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the health body.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the WHO was 'the most authoritative and professional international institution in the field of global public health security.'

Mr Zhao also criticised America's move as 'another demonstration of the US pursuing unilateralism, withdrawing from groups and breaking contracts'. 

President Trump has harshly criticised the WHO over its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused it of bowing to Chinese influence.

He has claimed Chinese officials 'ignored' their reporting obligations to WHO and pressured the organisation to mislead the public about an outbreak that has now killed more than 130,000 Americans. 

WHO publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus throughout January. 

The institution repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus 'immediately,' and said its work and commitment to transparency were 'very impressive, and beyond words'.

But in March, the WHO declared a pandemic caused by the coronavirus after it had spread to dozens of countries. The disease has so far killed more than 548,000 people worldwide.

The Chinese official yesterday made his remarks on US President Trump's withdrawal decision during a press briefing. 

Mr Zhao told reporters: 'As the most authoritative and professional international organization for global public health security, the World Health Organization plays a central and irreplaceable role in coordinating global efforts against COVID-19. 

The spokesperson added that the US departure would particularly hurt developing countries in need of international support. 

'The US withdrawal will undercut international combat against the virus, which will have particularly severe impact on developing countries that are in urgent need of international support. We urge the US to fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations and behave as a responsible major country,' he said.

'China calls on the international community to further consolidate the consensus of multilateralism, increase political support and financial input to WHO and jointly safeguard global public health security,' the official urged. 

China has said it remains unclear where the virus originated and has rejected an independent probe, but reiterated this week that it is working closely with WHO and will 'continue to support scientists from all countries to carry out global scientific research on the source and spread of viruses'.

The Trump administration formally notified the UN on Monday of its withdrawal from WHO, although the pullout will not take effect until July 6 next year.

That means it could be reversed by a new administration or if circumstances change.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said he would reverse the decision on his first day in office if elected.

Health officials and critics of Trump's administration say the withdrawal would cost the US influence in the global arena while undermining an important institution that is leading vaccine development efforts and drug trials to address the coronavirus.

Apart from the WHO, China and the US have tangled over human rights, China's crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and its assertions of sovereignty over strategic waters and islands in the South China Sea.

The two are also engaged in a protracted trade dispute amid allegations China is forcing companies to hand over technology or stealing the knowledge outright.

This article has been adapted from its original source.     


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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