The World Health Organization (WHO) chief has rejected as false allegation from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he owed his position to a deal with China.
Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was appointed on July 1, 2017, has been accused by U.S. President Donald Trump and Pompeo of being pro-China during the fight against the coronavirus.
“The comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation, for that matter,” Tedros said in response to a question raised at WHO’s Geneva headquarters briefing about remarks by Pompeo reported in London on Tuesday.
“Our sole focus – and the focus of the entire organization – is on saving lives. … And WHO will not be distracted by these comments. We don’t want the international community also to be distracted.”
A WHO advance team has been in China for nearly two weeks, organizing a WHO-led international mission to investigate the origins of the virus. The outbreak was first reported in a market in the central city of Wuhan late last year.
“We are already beginning to reach out to experts at the international level to see who will be available and most appropriate to be able to support an international mission in the coming weeks,” said Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert.
U.S. adminstration under President Donald Trump has gone ahead to severe ties with the global health agency.
In May, WHO said it will initiate an independent review into its handling of the coronavirus pandemic “at the earliest appropriate moment” and urged countries to continue funding the agency.
Half of all cases are from U.S., Brazil and India
Tedros added the WHO was seeing intense transmission of the coronavirus in relatively few countries.
“Two-thirds of all cases are from 10 countries. Almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries,” he said, referring to the U.S., Brazil and India.
Worldwide, more than 15 million cases and nearly 620,000 deaths have been reported, he said.
Recorded U.S. coronavirus infections exceeded four million on Thursday, with more than 2,600 new cases per hour on average, the highest rate in the world, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections in the U.S. have rapidly accelerated since the first COVID-19 case was detected on January 21. It took the country 98 days to reach one million cases, another 43 days to reach two million and then 27 more days to reach three million.
It has only taken 16 days to reach four million, at a rate of 43 new cases a minute.
Tedros said that just because cases may be at a low level where someone lives, it doesn’t mean they should let down their guard.
“Know your situation – do you know how many cases were reported where you live yesterday? Do you know how to find that information? Do you know how to minimize your exposure?” he said.
(With input from Reuters)
Xi Says CPC is the ‘Strong Force’ to Lead Chinese People Forward
The past 110 years have proven that the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the “strong force” to lead the Chinese people to realize national rejuvenation, President Xi Jinping said at a meeting in Beijing on Saturday marking the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution.
“The Party was chosen to lead by history and by the people… Without the Communist Party there would be no new China and no national rejuvenation,” said Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
The 1911 Revolution, or Xinhai Revolution, overthrew the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and put an end to the absolute monarchy in China.
The history of the Xinhai Revolution began with the Wuchang Uprising, an armed rebellion against the Qing Dynasty rulers that broke out on October 10, 1911 in what is today’s Wuchang District, Wuhan City, in central China’s Hubei Province.
The Revolution marked a historic step, leading to the establishment of the Republic of China (1912-1949) and ensuing social changes in the country.
The People’s Republic of China was then founded in 1949.
On Saturday, Xi said that “socialism with Chinese characteristics has proven to be the only correct path” to realize national rejuvenation.
“On the journey ahead, we must uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, remain firmly committed to our aspiration and our path, and make sure the future of China’s development remains firmly in our own hands,” he said.
Xi added that “the Chinese people must rely on our own heroic efforts” to achieve national rejuvenation. “Never has history taken a peaceful or tranquil course; it has always advanced amid setbacks and difficulties.”
He quoted late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who said: “Our forefathers never stopped waging unyielding struggles against domestic and foreign oppressors… By our own indomitable efforts, we the Chinese people will unswervingly reach our goal.”
Xi called on China to “seize the opportunities that the era has offered” in a world that is “undergoing momentous changes of a kind not seen in a century.”
“Through courage and skill, we will overcome all major risks and challenges that may impede our path to national rejuvenation and resolutely safeguard our national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
Xi urged that “the Chinese people and the nation must stick together through good times and bad and rely on our strong unity to overcome all risks and challenges on the road ahead.”
He noted that a united people with a great spirit of patriotism has always been “an important instrument that has allowed the CPC to rally the people’s support and pool their strength” for all endeavors.
He also pointed out that both “a stable and united domestic environment” and “a peaceful and stable international environment” are required to achieve national rejuvenation. “Our people hope to successfully realize national development, but they also hope to see all peoples of the world leading happy and peaceful lives,” he said.
“On the journey ahead, China will always fly the flag of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, strive to promote the building of a human community with a shared future, and endeavor to improve the global governance system,” Xi said.
In his speech, Xi also reiterated that the Taiwan question will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality. “This is determined by the general trend of Chinese history, but more importantly, it is the common will of all Chinese people.”
“National reunification by peaceful means best serves the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including our compatriots in Taiwan,” he said.
Xi called on compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to “stand on the right side of history and join hands to achieve China’s complete reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
CMG: Continue to Support Taiwan Entertainers to Perform on the Chinese Mainland
The gala celebrating the National Day of China broadcast by China Media Group (CMG) has received a warm response at home and abroad. Many entertainers from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan regions performed on stage with their mainland counterparts, presenting a high quality gala.
In response to the recent threats against actors and actresses by some media in Taiwan, the spokesperson for the Culture and Art Program Center of the China Media Group has replied as follows:
“At every major festival of China, the China Media Group will produce special programs and invite entertainer from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan to join with those in the mainland to participate in the performances and share the glory of the festival.
Taiwan entertainers participating in the variety shows and other activities are well received by the audience.
In disregard of the facts, some media have frequently threatened, intimidated, and slandered Taiwan entertainers who have contacts with the mainland. We are firmly opposed to this. We reiterate that we welcome entertainers from Taiwan to participate in our programs.”
Latest Round of Talks Between China and U.S. Concludes in Switzerland
The latest round of talks between China and the U.S. concluded in Zurich on October 6. Chinese delegates are departing after talks with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
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