China is set to be challenged on two main issues involving COVID-19 by the world at the first World Health Organization (WHO)’s governing body.
China is set to be challenged on two main issues involving COVID-19 by the world at the first World Health Organization’s (WHO)’s governing body since the start of the global outbreak. The two main issues include China’s initial handling of the virus and the inclusion of Taiwan in the WHO.
While the United States has been accusing China of developing the virus in the laboratory, the European Union and Australia are all set to push a probe into the virus’s origin. Australia on Friday has said that it will continue to push for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, even if it hurts trade relations with China. Meanwhile, China has suspended beef imports from four abattoirs and plans to impose tariffs on Australian barley, after warning the inquiry could harm two-way trade ties. Crucially, the WHO is accused of being China-centric amid the criticism.
The US blames China
The Trump administration has been blaming China for the spread of the novel coronavirus and for hiding its outbreak from the world. In its latest attack, US President Donald Trump threatened to put a complete end to ties with China over the latter’s alleged reluctance in sharing full information regarding COVID-19. Recently, a top US Senator has released a detailed 18-point plan to hold China accountable for the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes enhancing military ties with India. North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis said that the United States should seek reparation from the Chinese government and impose sanctions for “lying about the virus”.
Blaming the World Health Organisation (WHO) for being ‘China-centric’, Trump administration has also halted its funding to the UN body. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier claimed that his country has enough evidence to prove the COVID-19 contagion emerged from a ‘laboratory in Wuhan’ and that it is ‘not natural’.
Taiwan’s status in WHO
Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, a fresh diplomatic row has erupted between China and western powers about the inclusion of Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO). According to Taiwan, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is urgent for them to be allowed a proper access to the UN body. Further, several countries are now calling Taiwan to be either allowed into the WHO or to be granted observer status. Meanwhile, Taiwan has won a positive response in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as it has managed to keep the infections as low as 433 with only 7 deaths.