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slams Unacceptable

WHO slams ‘unacceptable’ remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – CNBC

Top officials of the World Health Organization on Thursday slammed “unacceptable” comments made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who alleged that China had co-opted the WHO.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the claims made Tuesday in London by Pompeo that China had “co-opt international institutions like the World Health Organization” were untrue and a distraction from the global coronavirus pandemic response.

“The comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation for that matter,” Tedros said at a news briefing from the United Nations agency’s Gevena headquarters on Thursday. “WHO will not be distracted by these comments and we don’t want the international community also to be distracted.” 

Tedros has repeatedly defended the WHO against criticism of its response to the coronavirus. U.S. President Donald Trump and others have alleged the U.N. health agency has a favorable relationship with China, where the virus emerged at the end of 2019. Tedros reiterated comments on Thursday that the politicization of the pandemic is one of the greatest threats to the global response. 

“I feel the need to say something as an American, as a proud WHO employee,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who was born in New York state and is head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, added. “I have never been more proud to be WHO. … We are firmly focused on saving lives, as Dr. Tedros has said, firmly focused. We will not be distracted.”

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said “many of us have worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day for the last seven months,” adding that WHO staff are sent “into harm’s way” everyday. He added that uplifting the morale of WHO staff and all U.N. staff is critical.

“None of us are perfect,” he said. “But we all serve. We serve to save lives. … We are proud, proud to be WHO and we will remain so. And we will serve the vulnerable people of the world regardless of what is said about us.”

Pompeo has previously accused China of working with the WHO to downplay the growing coronavirus crisis. On Tuesday, he said the entire world “needs to work together to ensure that every country, including China, behaves in the international system in ways that are appropriate, consistent with the international order.”

United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo leaves the In And Out Club in London where he met backbench MPs ahead of meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, July 21, 2020.

Stefan Rousseau | PA Images | Getty Images

Standing beside his U.K. counterpart Dominic Raab, Pompeo continued: “You can’t go make claims for maritime regions that you have no lawful claim to. You can’t threaten countries and bully them in the Himalayas. You can’t engage in cover-ups and co-opt international institutions like the World Health Organization.”

It’s not the first time Pompeo said China has “co-opted” the WHO.

“When you have an incident in your country that could potentially lead to a pandemic, you have an obligation to report that and to allow others to come in and help you be transparent about it. The Chinese Communist Party chose differently. They co-opted the World Health Organization to achieve that cover-up,” Pompeo said during a virtual event with The Hill on July 15.

The U.S. is experiencing the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the world so far and Trump has continually placed the blame for the pandemic on the WHO and China’s inability to contain the virus when it emerged in the city of Wuhan nearly seven months ago. Earlier this month, the Trump administration submitted its notice to withdraw from the WHO by July 6, 2021, a senior administration official confirmed to CNBC.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump said at a news conference on May 29 in the White House Rose Garden.

In June, global health specialists testified before Congress that the Trump administration’s decision to cut ties with the WHO will ultimately hurt U.S. interests and empower international rivals.

The U.S. is the largest funder of the WHO and most of the money goes toward the agency’s emergencies program, designed to assist the world’s most vulnerable populations, WHO officials have previously said. They said the loss of support from the U.S., if the nation does in fact withdraw from the WHO and cut funding, could lead to loss of life.

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Behaviour Unacceptable

“Unacceptable Behaviour” By China, Says US On Ladakh Clashes – NDTV

'Unacceptable Behaviour' By China, Says US On Ladakh Clashes

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised India’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps. (File)

Washington:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the recent clashes “initiated” by the Chinese military against India in eastern Ladakh are the latest examples of the “unacceptable behaviour” of ruling Chinese Communist Party.

He also praised India’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, which he said are “security risks” to the Indian people.

“It’s important that democracies like ours work together, especially as we see more clear than ever the true scope of the challenge posed by the Chinese communist party. Our infrastructure projects, our supply chains, our sovereignty, and our people’s health and safety are all at risk. If we get it wrong,” Mr Pompeo said in his virtual keynote address to the annual ‘India Ideas Summit’ of the US India Business Council.

“The recent clashes initiated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are just the latest examples of the Chinese Communist Party’s unacceptable behaviour. We were deeply saddened by the deaths of 20 Indian service members. I am confident that with our concerted efforts, we can protect our interests,” he said.

He said he was happy to report that India is a “rising US defense and security partner, in the Indo-Pacific and globally,” he said.

Asserting that the United States has never been more supportive of India’s a security, he said New Delhi too is an important partner and a key pillar of US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

“We work closely together to make sure that the world intellectual property organisation election was won by someone who respects property rights. It seems pretty basic.”

Mr Pompeo said that the so-called quad compile comprised that the US, India, Japan and Australia has been revived. “India is also part of a group of like-minded nations that I have convened regularly to advance shared interests,” he said.

He also noted that the US has also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the next G-7 summit, where the leaders will advance the economic prosperity network.

Mr Pompeo said India has a chance to attract global supply chains away from China and reduce its reliance on Chinese companies in like telecommunications, medical supplies and others.

“India is in this position because it has earned the trust of many nations around the world, including the United States,” he said.

“We also had to work with India to advance the blue network, an initiative to promote high quality, transparent infrastructure development,” he said, adding that this effort is crucial to adopt because free markets are the best way to lift people out of poverty.

India has seen that in its own recent past, he added.

The US Secretary of State said that is an especially vital truth to remember today because the private sector will be indispensable and overcoming the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic that began in Wuhan, China.

“But as I said last year to achieve these worthy goals, India will need to encourage an environment that is more open to increased trade and investment. I know that”s possible because Indians and Americans share a spirit of hard work and entrepreneurship, and I’m confident our partnership is only getting stronger,” Mr Pompeo said.

The United States, he said, desires a new age of ambition in its relationship with India.

“We don’t just interact on a bilateral basis. We see each other for what we are great democracies, global powers and really good friends. India is one of a few trusted like-minded countries whose leaders I call on a regular basis for counsel and collaboration on issues that span continents,” Mr Pompeo said.

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