China hopes the United States will not choose to be “on the wrong side of the track from the international community,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.
“The U.S. assumes that WHO should do its bidding because it is the largest contributor. This is typical hegemonic mentality,” Geng Shuang said at a press briefing.
“At present, by supporting WHO, we will be able to contain the further spread of the virus. It is literally a matter of life and death. This is a consensus shared by the majority of countries and a sure choice anyone with conscience would make.”
Geng made the remarks when asked to comment on media reports that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Washington may never restore funding to WHO.
The U.S. has been smearing and attacking WHO without any factual basis. Its tactics of pressure and coercion will only draw greater disapprobation from the international community, Geng said.
Led by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO has been actively fulfilling its duties and playing an important role in coordinating international efforts to fight COVID-19 in an objective, fair and science-based manner, he said, noting that supporting WHO helps uphold multilateralism and safeguard the role and authority of the UN.
“In fact, support for WHO has recently poured in from the leadership of many countries and international organizations including France, Germany, the UK, Canada, Japan, and the UN. Headed by Director-General Tedros, WHO’s leadership is also endorsed in the UNGA resolution and statements by the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China.
In the statement of the recent G20 extraordinary summit, member states stressed that they fully support and commit to further strengthen the WHO’s mandate in coordinating the international fight against the pandemic.
All these facts demonstrate a common position and aspiration of the international community.”
Geng said that as for the U.S. suspending funding to WHO, “We have offered China’s response repeatedly.
Here I would like to stress that WHO members have a legally-binding obligation to pay their assessed contributions, thus the U.S. suspending funding is a fundamental violation of its membership duties, which will definitely deliver a hard blow to the international anti-virus cooperation and probably entail serious ramifications.
“It will affect all countries, including the U.S., and particularly those with vulnerable health systems,” he said.