The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the WHO, recently adopted a resolution that calls for impartial evaluation of responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
Proposed by Australia and other countries, this initiative has been supported by 122 countries, as reported by The Guardian on May 18 in an article titled “Australia hails global support for independent coronavirus investigation.”
This is part of increasing efforts from the international community to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) responsible for its mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak. As a result of its continued cover-ups and disinformation, 5.4 million people have been infected, and 342,000 have lost their lives as of May 23.
The United States, which has the highest number of reported infected cases and deaths, has been evaluating its relationship with the CCP. One report issued by the White House on May 20 analysed how the CCP had exploited free society to reshape the international system in its favor and proposed solutions to address this issue.
Global Support for Coronavirus Investigation
The WHA resolution urges the director general to initiate a “stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms, as appropriate, to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to Covid-19, including the effectiveness of the mechanisms at WHO’s disposal.”
The resolution calls for a systemic review of the world’s response to Covid-19. According to The Guardian article, the resolution has been supported by 122 countries including members of the European Union and the African Group, the UK, Russia, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Australia is one of the earliest co-sponsors and its foreign minister Marise Payne said the resolution includes the main three elements his government had sought. That is, the review should be “impartial, independent and comprehensive.”
The New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said her country was also backing the motion. “We’re not interested in blame; we’re not interested in any kind of witch-hunt; we’re just interested in learning,” she said in an interview with Sky News.
In response to the resolution, China announced an 80% tariff on Australian barley. Australia’s Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Australia is not in a trade war with China and would not retaliate.
Inside China, the CCP internet army posted many messages about this topic. “Will they [Australia and the United States] cut off from China?” one post with strong nationalism reads, “Without China, what will they eat?!”
WHA later formally adopted the resolution unanimously, reported ABC News in Australia on May 19. “We’re at the very beginning of this process and we have to step that through with the WHO, with members of the WHO, as to what this will look like,” foreign minister Marise Payne said.
US Secretary: We Underestimate Beijing’s Hostility to Free Nations
During a press briefing on May 20, US Secretary Mike Pompeo pointed out that “media’s focus on the current pandemic risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that’s presented by the Chinese Communist Party.”
He said, “China’s been ruled by a brutal, authoritarian regime, a communist regime since 1949. For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach, letting them in the WTO as a developing nation. That didn’t happen.”
“We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations. The whole world is waking up to that fact.”
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 66% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of China, which comes as a result of “job losses to China and the trade deficit,” as well as its human rights abuses and environmental degradation.
Pompeo pointed out the Chinese communist regime’s hostility towards the free world lies in its very nature, and “the nature of that regime is not new.”
He added that, “Chinese Communist Party’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan have accelerated our more realistic understanding of communist China.”