Trump’s WHO funding freeze during coronavirus pandemic gives China an opening to expand its influence
But his largely unpopular decision this month to suspend funding to the global health agency for 60 days in the middle of a pandemic could have impacts that reverberate beyond the current crisis: Enhancing China’s standing in the world while reinforcing perceptions of the United States as an unpredictable partner.
In the short run, the move hands Beijing a propaganda victory, bolstering its campaign to deflect attention from what happened in Wuhan and recast the crisis as evidence of China’s competence and cooperative might. A foreign ministry spokesman said the donation showed China was “defending the ideals and principles of multilateralism” — a not so subtle swipe at Trump’s frequent attacks on globalism.
Going forward, a U.S. retreat from the Geneva-based WHO could help China amplify its voice in the U.N. system and to shake up what’s left of the post-World War II order.
Critics say Trump’s move is aimed at deflecting attention from his administration’s response to the coronavirus as U.S. cases and deaths grow. He initially praised …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]