Left Menu
Development News Edition

Chinese corrals Pacific, Caribbean support ahead of World Health meeting


Reuters | Beijing | Updated: 15-05-2020 12:56 IST | Created: 15-05-2020 11:45 IST
Chinese corrals Pacific, Caribbean support ahead of World Health meeting
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Beijing has hosted a teleconference with its Pacific island nation allies to discuss COVID-19 aid and publicized their pledge to support the "One China" principle and "oppose any attempt" to politicize the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pacific Islands meeting, with China's vice foreign minister, Zheng Zeguang, on Wednesday, came a day after Zheng held a teleconference with nine Caribbean nations, and ahead of a World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting starting on May 18. A resolution calling for an investigation into the coronavirus pandemic, which China opposes, is expected to be debated at the WHA.

China has reacted angrily to calls from Australia for a coronavirus investigation and accused the United States of inciting other nations to support Taiwan's attendance as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA). Beijing considers Taiwan to be a wayward province. Under the World Health Organization (WHO) rules Taipei is not able to attend its meetings as it is considered to be represented by Beijing.

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister Patrick Pruaitu co-chaired the meeting with China's allies in the Pacific, where 10 nations talked about their COVID-19 response, his office said. The Vanuatu Daily Post reported the Pacific nations had given "firm support of the one-China principle" in the meeting.

China's provision of aid funding and medical supplies to combat COVID-19 was discussed at the meeting attended by foreign ministry officials from Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, The Federated States of Micronesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Solomon Islands, and Kiribati. Taiwan's 15 diplomatic allies are concentrated in the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. Last year, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched their allegiance to Beijing.

A statement issued by Chinese embassies in several Pacific nations and Canberra said attendees on the conference calls had pledged to "oppose any attempt at stigmatization, politicizing or labeling the virus". They had also "commended China for its open, transparent and responsible approach in adopting timely and robust response measures and sharing its containment experience", the statement said.

Washington has accused Beijing of covering up its early response to the coronavirus outbreak. The Caribbean nations had also pledged to "adhere to the one-China principle" and support China on its "core interests", according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

Australia, the largest aid donor to the Pacific Islands, is wary of rising Chinese influence in the region and has stepped up coronavirus aid in the past week. Australia provided funding for the WHO to supply the Pacific with 150,000 COVID-19 tests and airlifted some test kits and military personnel to Papua New Guinea on Monday. Australia on Thursday provided A$12.25 million ($8 million) in funding for Fiji's COVID-19 response.

Taiwan has also sent virus aid to its Pacific allies - Palau, Nauru, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands - and 14 of its 15 allies have lodged proposals with the WHO to allow Taiwan into the WHA. Taiwan's Foreign Ministry this week expressed its "sincere thanks" for the backing of its allies and other "like-minded countries".

But China's Foreign Ministry said countries backing the Taiwan proposal are "seeking to severely disrupt this WHA and undermine global anti-pandemic cooperation". Beijing says Taiwan's participation at the WHA must be arranged with the permission of Beijing, and it has refused permission since 2017. ($1 = 1.5485 Australian dollars)



Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...


Latest News

234 fresh coronavirus cases in Raj, death toll rises to 465

Rajasthan reported four COVID-19 deaths and 234 fresh cases of the virus on Tuesday, taking the total number of infections to 20,922 in the state, according to an official reportOne death each was reported from Nagaur, Dholpur Bharatpur, an...

By alienating so many Hong Kongers, China has wasted an opportunity: CBC

A growing number of experts here believe that while China rejects attempts at outside coercion, developments in Hong Kong may reveal a path to domestic transformation. While Beijings strong-arm tactics can work on powerless Uighurs, Hong Ko...

Veer Foundation Expands its reach with Medical Oxygen Cylinder supply for the citizens as well as the quarantine Centre

Mumbai, 7th July 2020 Veer Foundation, Ghatkopar based NGO have extended their service to provide free Medical Oxygen Cylinders to the Citizens of Mumbai and Quarantine and COVID Centres. With the monsoon season the Pandemic cases are at ...

SC directs Centre to comply with all its directions given in its verdict on permanent commission for women officers in Indian Army.

SC directs Centre to comply with all its directions given in its verdict on permanent commission for women officers in Indian Army....

Give Feedback