China defended the World Health Organization on Wednesday and struck out at the United States decision to withdraw from the United Nations organization. Speaker of the Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijian said the move was “another US demonstration seeking unilateralism, withdrawal from groups and violation of contracts.”
Zhao said at a regular briefing that WHO is “the most authoritative and competent international organization in the field of global public health protection.” The U.S. withdrawal from the organization “reduces international anti-epidemic activities and has a significant negative effect on developing countries in desperate need of foreign assistance,” said Zhao.
The notice to withdraw was sent to the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will take effect on Monday and in one year, on July 6, 2021. The U.S. is the biggest donor to the WHO and contributes more than $450 million annually, but owes only $200 million in existing and past dues. Before a US withdrawal can be completed, certain financial obligations must be met.