Coronavirus: WHO chief and Taiwan in row over ‘racist’ comments

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AFP

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President Tsai (L) stated Taiwan opposed any type of discrimination

A row has erupted after the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) accused Taiwan’s leaders of spearheading private assaults on him.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated he had been subjected to racist comments and demise threats for months.

But President Tsai Ing-wen stated Taiwan opposed any type of discrimination, and invited Dr Tedros to go to the island.

Taiwan stated it had been denied entry to important info because the coronavirus unfold. The WHO rejects this.

Taiwan is excluded from the WHO, the United Nations well being company, due to China’s objections to its membership.

The Chinese Communist Party regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and claims the fitting to take it by pressure if essential.

The WHO has additionally been criticised by US President Donald Trump, who has threatened to withdraw US funding to the company.

What is being stated?

Dr Tedros stated he had been on the receiving finish of racist comments for the previous two to a few months.

“Giving me names, black or negro,” he stated. “I’m proud of being black, or proud of being negro.”

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He then stated he had acquired demise threats, including: “I don’t give a damn.”

The WHO chief stated the abuse had originated from Taiwan, “and the foreign ministry didn’t disassociate” itself from it.

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Reuters

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Dr Tedros with Chinese President Xi Jinping

But Ms Tsai stated Taiwan was against discrimination.

“For years, we have been excluded from international organisations, and we know better than anyone else what it feels like to be discriminated against and isolated,” Reuters information company quoted her as saying.

“If Director-General Tedros could withstand pressure from China and come to Taiwan to see Taiwan’s efforts to fight Covid-19 for himself, he would be able to see that the Taiwanese people are the true victims of unfair treatment.”

Taiwan overseas ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou stated the comments had been “irresponsible” and the accusations “imaginary”. The ministry stated it was in search of an apology for “slander”, AFP information company reported.

Correspondents say Taiwan has been happy with its measures to comprise the virus, with simply 380 instances and 5 deaths to date.

Last month, the WHO stated it was monitoring the progress of the virus in Taiwan and studying classes from its efforts.

What in regards to the row with the US?

The UN company has come below continued hearth from Mr Trump, who accuses the WHO of being “very China-centric” and has threatened to finish funding.

Speaking on Wednesday, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the WHO’s work and referred to as for an finish to the politicisation of Covid-19.

The illness first emerged final December in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan, which has simply ended an 11-week lockdown. An advisor to the WHO chief earlier stated their shut work with China had been “absolutely essential” in understanding the illness in its early levels.

Mr Trump’s assaults on the WHO come in the context of criticism of his personal administration’s dealing with of the pandemic, particularly early issues with US testing.

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Media captionWorld Health Organization head: ‘Do not politicise this virus’

The WHO accredited a coronavirus check in January – however the US determined towards utilizing it, creating its personal check as a substitute. However, in February, when the testing kits had been despatched, a few of them didn’t work correctly, and led to inconclusive outcomes.

Public well being consultants say the delay enabled the virus to unfold additional inside the US.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres had earlier added his voice to the defence of the WHO. He described the outbreak as “unprecedented” and stated any evaluation of the way it was dealt with must be a problem for the longer term.

Dr Tedros has additionally acquired help from the African Union, with present chairman and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa calling for “solidarity, unity of purpose and better co-ordination to ensure that we are able to overcome this common enemy”.

“We should avoid the temptation to apportion blame,” he added.

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