U.S. says U.N. COVID-19 meeting is stage for Chinese 'propaganda'
- 03 December 2020
The United States on Wednesday claimed a United Nations meeting of world leaders on the COVID-19 pandemic was being designed to allow Beijing to spread “propaganda,” stoking months of bickering at the world body between the superpowers, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The two-day meeting of the U.N. General Assembly begins Thursday with some 53 heads of state, 39 heads of government and 38 ministers due to make pre-recorded video statements, including U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the special session of the 193-member General Assembly should have been held earlier, that it had been “pre-engineered to serve China’s purposes” and complained that questions at panel discussions on Friday would be restricted.
China would use the setting to its advantage, the official said, adding, “I expect them to make a very, very effective propaganda play out of these two days.”
A spokesperson for China’s mission to the United Nations in New York said the U.S. “politicization of the issue is not in the interest of the international community.”
Without naming the United States, the spokesperson said: “If certain a country insists, it will once again find itself isolated and end in failure. China will strengthen communication and collaboration with other member states and make positive and constructive contributions.”
U.S. President Donald Trump cut funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this year and announced plans to quit the Geneva-based body over accusations it was a puppet of China, which the WHO denied. The U.S. withdrawal would have taken effect in July next year, but U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said he will rescind the move.