Foreign Ministry: Washington's threat to cut WHO funding would harm virus fight
China Daily

A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on updates on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb 6, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)

The announcement by the United States that it is considering ending its funding to the World Health Organization will seriously affect the organization's operations, and harm international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, Beijing said on Wednesday.

Commenting on the announcement which was made on Tuesday by US President Donald Trump, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China will continue its firm support for the WHO in leading the global collaboration to fight against the virus.

The organization has played an important role in promoting international cooperation to tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic, Zhao said.

The spokesman also cited a statement issued from the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit Statement on COVID-19, which said the leaders "fully support and commit to further strengthen the WHO's mandate in coordinating the international fight against the pandemic".

Calling for countries to support each other to get through the challenges, Zhao said China appreciates and welcomes the call in a joint statement by over 90 US experts and former officials for China and the US to work together to fight the virus.

Such views are "in line with the positive and reasonable" statements by many people in China, the US and throughout the international community, Zhao said.

The pandemic is a common challenge for all mankind, and China hopes to continue working with the US and other countries to overcome it, he said.

In the two phone conversations between President Xi Jinping and US President Trump, which took place in February and March, the two leaders reached an important consensus on enhancing China-US cooperation to tackle the pandemic, Zhao said.

Health departments and disease control and prevention experts of the two countries have been staying in close communication and held videoconferences, he said.

Many provinces, cities, companies and other organizations in China are working actively to donate medical supplies to the US, Zhao said, adding that China is taking active steps to assist the US government and companies to purchase supplies for disease control and prevention in China.

Also, the two countries' pharmaceutical companies and scientists have maintained communication and cooperation over the development of vaccines and drugs for the virus, according to Zhao.

China has adopted an open, transparent and responsible manner since the novel coronavirus pneumonia broke out, he said.