Donald Trump's decision to pull funding to the World Health Organization will weaken the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic and damage all of the world's countries, including the US itself, China has said.
Trump announced on Tuesday that he was halting funding to the WHO, pending a review into the agency. He had previously accused the organization of being too "China-centric."
"At present, the global pandemic situation is grim and is at a critical moment," China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters on Wednesday, adding that Trump's move would "weaken WHO’s abilities and undermine global cooperation on combating the pandemic."
"It will affect all countries in the world, including the United States -- especially those with vulnerable abilities," he said. "We urge the US to fulfill its responsibilities and obligations, and support WHO to lead the international combat against the pandemic.”
Lijian also praised the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's handling of the pandemic, and said the organization has "actively performed its responsibilities and played a central coordination role in promoting international anti-pandemic cooperation, which has been widely recognized and highly praised by the international community."
The US contributes $400 million to $500 million to the WHO each year, Trump said while announcing the move, noting that China "contributes roughly $40 million."
"Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China's lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death," Trump said.