“The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government”–President Donald Trump
President Trump announced today that the US will fully exit the World Health Organization. The announcement comes after a fitful off-again, on-again detente following the WHO’s disastrous, and possibly criminal, handling of the Chinese outbreak of COVID-19 late last year.
“China has total control over the World Health Organization,” Trump stated. “…We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization…Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China…but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States? The death and destruction caused by this is incalculable.”
Trump initially halted funding and withdrew from the WHO on April 14. At the time, the goal was to review the organization’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. A two- to three-month timeline was announced. It appears that six weeks was sufficient.
Trump declared that the United States would undertake a 60-to-90 day investigation into why the “China-centric” WHO had caused “so much death” by “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus’ spread, including by making the “disastrous” decision to oppose travel restrictions on China.–Fox News, on April 14
In the interim, a new arrangement was floated, whereby the US would match China’s funding of the WHO, retaining a seat at the table for a reduced cost. Now, that plan is scuttled, and the WHO, which has been exposed as a puppet of the CCP, will be left to fend for itself, and to answer difficult questions from potential funding sources over its role in suppressing news about COVID-19 as it spread globally.
The president stated that funds earmarked for the WHO will go to other “deserving” global health organizations, as yet unspecified.
So Long, Hong Kong: 2 Systems, 1 State Treatment Null and Void
Trump spent the second part of his statement addressing the official US disavowal of the “One Country, Two Systems” diplomatic and trade policy in place since Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule by Britain in 1997. The policy–a grand compromise–allowed Hong Kong citizens greater individual freedoms, and allowed the US and other Western nations to travel to and trade with Hong Kong as a special administrative state not subject to the same tariffs and travel restrictions imposed on, and by, the Chinese mainland.
The announcement follows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Wednesday stating that Hong Kong had violated the terms of the agreement, which was supposed to stand for 50 years, until 2047.
The CCP has “imposed control” over Hong Kong security forces, Trump stated today, a “plain violation of Beijing’s treaty obligations.” Further, he claimed that “Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to warrant the special treatment that we have afforded it since the [British] handover.”
The Trump administration will, the president said, include changes such as: eliminating policy exemptions such as the extradition treaty and export controls. Also, the US travel advisory guidance to Hong Kong will reflect the CCP’s new role in security and surveillance oversight. Separate customs and travel territory boundaries will be adjusted.
Further, Trump pledged to protect “vital university research” against intellectual property theft, and to suspend the entry of foreign nationals from China who “we have identified as security risks,” and he vowed to protect the US financial system from illegal reporting practices of Chinese corporations, thereby safeguarding investors.
Trump’s announcement is expected to invigorate the Hong Kong independence protests that were temporarily smothered by COVID-19 lockdowns, but were revived immediately after social distancing rules were relaxed. Wednesday saw new clashes between protesters and Hong Kong police, who fired pepper pellets into the crowds.
Stocks Appreciate Trump’s Measured Response, Obama Gets Trolled
Trump called out previous administrations several times during his speech, never explicitly calling out Barack Obama or George W. Bush by name, but alluding to their united role in increasing China’s prominence on the global stage, such as allowing their admittance into the WTO in 2001, and Sunnylands “shirtsleeves” Summit in 2013, and the impotent “stop throwing elbows” response to the CCP’s aggression in the South China Sea.
US stocks rose during Trump’s remarks as analysts’ fears of new tariffs or sanctions were allayed. The S&P 500, which was down most of the day and plunged briefly to sub-3,000 territory prior to the statement, shot up to close at 3,044.