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WHO Chief Denounces Claim He Owes His Position To China

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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)

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Will Astronauts Have Private Time to Themselves During the Three-Month Trip to The Space Station?

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Three Chinese astronauts logged into space on June 17 to fly to the Chinese space station. This is China’s first manned space mission in nearly five years, and the taikonauts will spend three months in space to help build the station and conduct experiments. Their flight has opened up endless reveries for many Chinese.

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Father’s Day: Three ‘Treasures’ Xi Jinping Gets From his Father

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Falling on the third Sunday of June, Father’s Day will be celebrated on June 20 this year.

Fathers always have a great influence on their children – the same applies to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

There are at least three characteristics that Xi has inherited from his father Xi Zhongxun (1913-2002), a leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the state.

File photo of Xi Jinping (L) with his father Xi Zhongxun. /CMG

People-oriented philosophy

Many Chinese leaders started their careers from the grassroots, going through the difficulties ordinary people face and understanding the people’s needs, which lays a solid foundation for their practical and people-oriented approach in formulating national policies.

The people-oriented philosophy is one of the most important treasures Xi Jinping got from his father, who believed that officials and the masses are equal and they must always live among the people.

The father once told his boy: “No matter what your job title is, serve the people diligently, consider the interests of the people with all your heart, maintain close ties with the people, and always stay approachable to the people.”

Adhering to the path of “serving the people,” Xi Jinping visited China’s 14 contiguous areas of extreme poverty after becoming general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in November 2012. He went to villages and households, and told communities that he is just “a servant of the people.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks to people while visiting Fudao, a 19-km-long pedestrian walkway in Fuzhou, southeast China’s Fujian Province, March 24, 2021. /Xinhua

During his domestic inspection tours, Xi Jinping always chatted with the locals, cared about their daily life and stressed the responsibilities of serving the people with other officials.

The Party has won the people’s wholehearted support because it has always served the people with heart and soul and striven for the well-being of all ethnic groups, Xi has said on many occasions.

Down-to-earth approach

Inheriting his father’s down-to-earth approach, Xi Jinping visited all the villages in Zhengding, Hebei Province during his tenure of county Party chief in the 1980s. Then in Ningde, Fujian, he visited nine counties within the first three months as secretary of the CPC Ningde Prefectural Committee, and traveled to most townships later on. 

Xi Zhongxun (C) visits rural Huiyang, south China’s Guangdong Province, August 1978. /CMG

After he was transferred to east China’s Zhejiang Province in 2002, he visited all 90 counties in over a year. During his brief tenure in Shanghai in 2007, he visited all its 19 districts and counties in seven months.

The formulation of the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for Economic and Social Development and future targets for 2035 also reflected Xi Jinping’s adherence to investigation and research.

By convening and presiding over a number of symposiums, he listened to opinions and advices on the country’s economic and social development in the plan period from all walks of life.

Living a simple life

The Xi’s has a tradition of being strict with children and living a simple life. Xi Zhongxun believed if a senior Party official wanted to discipline others, he should begin first with himself and his family.

Xi Jinping and his younger brother used to wear clothes and shoes from their elder sisters. After Xi Jinping became a leading official, his mother called a family meeting to ban the siblings from engaging in business where Xi Jinping worked.

Xi Jinping has carried on his family’s tradition and been strict with his family members. Wherever he worked, he told them not to do business there or do anything in his name, or else he “would be ruthless.” Whether in Fujian, Zhejiang or Shanghai, he pledged at official meetings that no one was allowed to seek personal benefit using his name and welcomed supervision in this regard.

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Peng Liyuan Calls for Global Efforts in AIDS and TB Prevention and Treatment

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Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, called on people from all walks of life in all countries to join hands and take action to strengthen the prevention and treatment of AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), in order to benefit all mankind and build a global community of health for all.

Peng, also World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, made the remarks via video link on Monday at the opening ceremony of a special high-level event on the sidelines of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS.

The event aimed to provide a platform for WHO member states to reassert their commitment to ending TB deaths among people living with HIV and deliberate on how they will intensify the response to HIV-associated TB in the context of COVID-19.

Peng said the global fight against AIDS and TB has achieved remarkable results in recent years thanks to the concerted efforts made by the international community.

China has gradually established a cooperation mechanism between prevention and control institutions of AIDS and TB, she said. The country has kept the prevalence of AIDS at a low level, and in the past 20 years, the incidence of TB has dropped by more than 40 percent and the mortality rate by more than 70 percent.

These achievements have been made due to the attention paid by the Chinese government, the efforts of the medical personnel and the silent contributions of the volunteers, she said.

Peng also shared some touching stories and expressed her respect for people and volunteers worldwide who have contributed to the prevention and treatment of the diseases.

Major communicable diseases are among the common challenges facing mankind, and it is people’s common wish to end the threats of AIDS and TB, said Peng.

She added that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought more challenges to the containment of the diseases, calling for global efforts to protect lives and forge ahead.

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