In the last few weeks, President Donald Trump doubled down on blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic. “It could have been stopped right where it came from, China,” Trump said at a White House news conference. Additionally, he called the virus the “Chinese virus,”. India to benefit from this declining Chinese image and global dynamics.
These recent wars of words between two world superpowers also dragged world organizations to the center of the controversy.
Lets start by looking how World Health Organization is involved:
While the whole world is fighting a pandemic, the US President Donald Trump holds $500 million funds. Alleging it to be ‘Beijing centric’, WHO funds were held. Furthermore WHO has failed in doing enough to contain the spread of the deadly corona virus.
But India stayed away from commenting anything on the WHO. “Why don’t we question WHO?” writes The Indian Express adding further that Nations need to voice out their opinions at times. Well, WHO, the global health agency has from the day it was formed, has proved its worth to the world. Eradication of polio and small pox, agendas on mental health, strategic actions during various outbreaks (Zika, Ebola and HIV/AIDS) and developing vaccines. Only WHO can bring together scientists, industries, governments and regulators to join hands for a rapid action during emergency. Not to forget, WHO has always called for ‘International Solidarity’ even in the worst times.
The Hindu critically remarks that it is not only derogatory to the global functioning but also hurting humanity by ceasing to fund WHO. An additional $675 million for critical responses but to no avail. The Hindu, further reasons out that failures of WHO either due to over-sight or any other causes can be dealt with later on but not in the middle of a pandemic.
Okay, That’s the WHO involvement. Does the United Nations Organization have a role to play here?
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) responded indecisively to the spread of the coronavirus. The Indian Express adds an insight to the delay by mentioning a first meeting held via video conferencing. US an China repudiated over the name of the virus widening the gap of disagreements between them. Thus it lead to lack of collective action. Appending further the IE says that while the US called upon for a scientific approach to contain the pandemic and greater transparency, China made a fuss about being made a ‘scapegoat’ for the origin and spread of the virus. China went on to whine for more international cooperation exaggerating its success in controlling the virus while supporting other pandemic affected countries. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, showed a gloomy picture of the impending crisis with International Peace and Security at threat.
Further, there is an allegation that China has too much influence in the United Nations. Let’s first look at one side of the equation if China really exerts the influence.
China despite its position, heads only four of the 15 UN specialized agencies. China has also been a second-largest contributor to the UN’s peace keeping budget with 15.21%. Moreover,it has crossed Japan and Germany with 12.08% contribution in the UN Regulatory Budget closing in on the US who contributes 22%.
Puri goes on to assert that China has not tried to represent at many of the top positions at the UN. Only three of 202 senior officials are representing China as these positions are direct appointment through the UN Secretary General. The American Conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, accepts the same by adding that 23 US nationals are holding offices.
Dr. Jagannath Panda from the Asian Age, clears the air by stating that China does have a say in the UN. Its interference in obstructing the UNSC process of declaring a pandemic, has the G-4 countries as the victims of the corona virus. India, Japan, Brazil and Germany (G-4) are considered to be the fore bearers of some permanent seats in the UN.
As a P-5 country, China especially Beijing played foul by overlooking the principles of the rule-based UN. It has tried to control the UN’s decision-making process for China’s own national or foreign policy interests but also dashed hopes of supporting the other countries during these hard times.
He goes on further stating that not only the UN but also WHO had failed to anticipate the spread of the virus. They are currently struggling to contain the pandemic trying to avail a credible medical response.
The UN needs a revamping of their governance systems inputs the Panda. He adds that what the world needs today are visionary leaders who are trustworthy, have ethical values with practices with transparent operations. The COVID-19 fiasco has revealed the poor leadership skills and the non-transparent governance. The Communist Party of China with its opaque tyranny being the cause. Panda suggests the G-4 countries like India and Japan to showcase their leadership skills which the UN needs to explore.
China’s lost its Goodwill. What does this mean for India. It means, it is an opportunity for India
Harsha Kakar, a retired Major-General, has remarked that Chinese products will lose their earlier weightage and recognition, the sub-standard medicines. Adding to it, he says that Japan, taking a lead, has started disengaging their manufacturing units from China. European nations, Australia and other countries are reviewing their policies against China’s take over of their weak companies.
China, though continues to raze down weaker countries to become a global power aided by its economic and military strength, has lost it’s goodwill, trust and dependability. China will thus lose it’s standing as a global manufacturing hub with the loss of these three crucial prerequisites. Companies may shift factories from China to other profitable and cost-effective locations succumbing to the pressure from their domestic governments. The new favorites are Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India for the industrial expansion.
India, by backing a global response to COVID-19, initiating discussions with G-20 and willingly supplying Hydroxychloroquine to the world Has emerged as a reliable partner and leader with an enhanced global image. India’s non-biased support to rich and poor nations with a proactive decision to lead the fight against COVID-19 are appreciated. Needless to say, all of this was done by India, without asking for any favour.