World Turns Up Heat On China and WHO

In the latest WHO meeting, majority of countries supported an independent inquiry into origin and spread of Coronavirus. Several countries also questioned WHO’s shielding of China’s irresponsibility while continuously praising for its “transparency”.
Complete Coverage: Coronavirus

Crux of the Matter

WHAt Happened?
Recently held the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting centered on the issue of Coronavirus. The online meeting sanctioned an Independent Inquiry of the pandemic probing into the source and transmission of the virus. The inquiry was proposed by Australia and had was backed by 115+ countries including UK, US, Japan, India, Africa Group, etc.

The demand for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO was delayed as Taiwan itself postponed the process owing to the pandemic and decided to resume after the situation subsides.

Aussie-Sino Spat
China imposed an 80.5% import duty on Barley from Australia, which proposed the inquiry. Nevertheless, China showed acceptance of the WHO inquiry.

China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control, to sum up experiences and deficiencies.

Xi Jinping, President of China

However, the inquiry is set to begin after the pandemic is declared over. China pledged in WHA to provide $2 billion to WHO for fighting Covid-19, particularly in African countries.

Critics have pointed out that China might get the ‘window’ caused by delaying the inquiry, and that the amount might divert attention from its lack of transparency in the fight. China has denied the claims, stating it has provided complete cooperation to WHO in a timely manner.

US, China & WHO in War of Words
US President Trump has accused WHO of shielding China’s lack of transparency in the fight against Coronavirus. Recently, Trump gave a deadline to the WHO to “commit to major substantive improvements” in the next 30 days. On failing to do so, the US would permanently freeze its contribution to WHO and would reconsider its membership in the organization.

China to Blame for Recession in Japan?
Japan is in recession for the first time since 2015. It is in a technical recession, which means a decline of GDP in 2 consecutive quarters. After a 6.4% decline in the last quarter of 2019, Japan reported a decline of 3.4% in this year’s first quarter.

Japan, which also supported the Independent Inquiry, has provided a stimulus of $2.2 billion to companies shifting their production from China. $2 billion of the amount is reserved for companies shifting back to Japan.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) was established on 7th April 1948. And hence with effect from 1950, 7th April is celebrated as World Health Day globally under the sponsorship of WHO.
  • In 2018, Forbes announced Chinese leader Xi Jinping as the “World’s Most Powerful Person”. Since 2009 (with absences in 2017 and 2019), the business magazine has compiled an annual list of the world’s most powerful people. The list has one slot for every 100 million people. Russian President Vladimir Putin topped the list for 4 consecutive years (2013-2016).
  • The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the founding and ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the second-largest political party in the world. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao.