- It could have been a difficult hour for China. Several countries wanted Beijing to be held responsible for the corona pandemic at the WHO Assembly.
- It turned out very differently. China prevailed for the most part, and could soon become the organization’s largest donor.
- Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump shot himself out with an undisguised threat.
It could have been the day of settling accounts with the emerging world power China. It turned out very differently.
The anger against China was great. Dozens of countries wanted to confront Beijing at the World Health Organization (WHO) annual meeting. One thing is clear to them: China has slandered, hushed up and botched the outbreak of the novel corona virus deep in its own country. This turned an epidemic into a pandemic that plunged the world into the worst health and economic crisis in decades.
An independent commission should investigate China’s behavior in the corona pandemic, Australia said. The role of WHO must also be examined. China strongly opposed this. With success.
China opposes independent Wuhan investigation
President Xi Jinping had already set the tone on Monday. China supports the idea of reviewing the global response to the Corona outbreak, he said. However, this should only happen after the pandemic has been brought under control. This means that investigations at the current time are out of the question for Beijing.
Xi also said that the WHO investigation should be “based on science and professionalism” and that it should be “objective and impartial”. He did not speak of an “independent” investigation without Chinese participation, for example. Indeed, independent investigations in China would be difficult, especially when it comes to facts that could expose the ruling Communist Party.
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In the end, China should largely prevail. It was not the Australian request that was voted on, but a weakened paper drawn up by the European Union. The WHO should commit itself to “identify the source of the infection” and to track the transmission to humans. There was no more talk of independent research, nor of China, nor of Wuhan, the world’s first corona hotspot. The EU application was approved on Tuesday without objection.
Trump threatens WHO, China cleverly counters
It got better for China. Ironically, the United States, Beijing’s largest geopolitical competitor, finally took off the WHO power game earlier this week. Instead of attacking China from the inside, US President Donald Trump attacked from the outside and immediately took the entire organization in joint liability.
If the WHO does not commit to “major improvements” within the next 30 days, he will rethink the United States’ membership in the organization, the President informed the WHO by letter. Trump had previously announced a stop in US payments to the World Health Organization.
The White House believes the WHO is too Chinese. In fact, the organization praised Beijing’s early and exuberant actions in the Corona crisis, even if reports at that time indicated that the situation was being disguised and played down.
And how did Beijing react to Trump’s threat? The regime promised an additional $ 2 billion for WHO. This would make the country the largest donor. A position that promises even more influence and power. It was just a good day for the emerging power of China.
Here you can read the more detailed analysis by NewsABC.net US on which this article is based.
6 figures that show the extent of the corona crisis for the German economy
2. 36,605 KfW applications approved
The state development bank KfW claims to have received more than 38,000 corona applications. These are exclusively loan aids, mainly for medium and large companies. The bank approved at least 36,605 of them, the paper said. The volume distributed so far is 19.3 billion euros.
The government separately pledged guarantees totaling around 1.3 billion euros for large companies not specified. Six further applications worth around 1.5 billion euros are in progress, according to the government document.
3. 11.8 percent drop in goods exports
Goods exports slumped sharply in March, 11.8 percent compared to the previous month. The paper refers to figures from the Federal Statistical Office. Exports to euro countries such as Italy, France and Spain were particularly affected. Figures for the April lockdown month are not yet available, but are likely to be even worse.
5. 37 percent decline in loan agreements
Have the Germans become risk-averse? In any case, compared to the previous year, there was a sharp decline in new loan contracts for private customers, namely by up to 37 percent per week compared to the previous year, the paper said. The data come from the Federal Statistical Office.
6. 3,822 hotline calls to the Ministry in one week
Finally, a number for gourmets. At the beginning of the crisis, the Federal Ministry of Economics set up its own corona hotlines. And they were used quite a bit. At the peak, in the first week of lockdown (March 23-29), there were 3,822 calls. Means: The phone rang on average every three minutes.
Since then, calls have been steadily falling. Last week there were only 560.
And what did the callers want to know? The focus was on the modalities of the application, questions about KfW loans, in particular possibilities of extending the term and problems of small businesses with landlords or suppliers.