Trump Vs China: The Historic Antagonism
Rivalry, Hegemony and wariness created conflicts to the Sino-American relationship which was established in the 18th century. Tension began amongst the two leading trade exports in mid-July 2018. President Trump and the members of the administration believed that China was ripping off the United States to which Beijing criticized the Trump administration’s move. In May 2019, the trade war intensified which led to the ban of foreign-made telecommunications equipment.
The war didn’t end here. In November 2019 Trump willingly supported Hong Kong protestors and signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, Chinese officials condemned the move and imposed actions on several U.S based organizations.
In the start of 2020 when the world was facing a much larger pandemic after the first reported cases of coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the Trump administration accused the Chinese government of its failures and held WHO accountable for being biased towards China.
As of now, US President Donald Trump has formally given 1-year notice to quit the World Health Organization and the country’s annual contribution will be given to other liable bodies.
Trump instructed his administration to halt the funding of the World Health Organization claiming its role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of Coronavirus which killed over thousands of people worldwide. Trump announced the decision in May accusing WHO of being under China’s control.
The Geneva-based body which was established over 72 years ago has played a leading role in the eradication of several diseases notably smallpox and played a crucial role in the establishment of the Ebola vaccine. In recent months, the United States has been keeping an eye on the health facilities provided by WHO and their active participation with China when reports of the first few coronavirus cases emerged.
After threatening to seize the annual $400 million provided by the US, the Trump administration has formally sent a notice to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. This is a funding issue from the World Health Organization because the US contributes a large portion of the WHO’s annual budget.
Reactions have been prompt, New Jersey’s Senator Bob Menendez tweeted:
Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic.
To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn't do it justice. This won't protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 7, 2020
Many Americans showed outrageous reactions and took over twitter to express their views as Trump has been heavily accusing WHO of not being forthcoming about the spread of the coronavirus and for handling the situation in a docile manner.
Last month top US doctor Anthony Fauci said “the WHO is an imperfect organization. it certainly has made some missteps but it has also done a lot of good. the world needs a W-H-O. I would hope that we would continue to benefit from what the WHO can do at the same time that they continue to improve themselves.”
For a country to withdraw from the WHO it has to give a 1-year notice so the US backing out will not go into effect until July 2021 but there are chances for it to reverse if Trump loses re-election in November also it has to be mentioned that Trump repeatedly accused China for the coronavirus and reportedly called it “the China virus.”
The tensions soared since the start of the pandemic and has been going on since then. The question is, where will the two leading countries stand in the long run after all the blame game? Will they ally with one another? Or will the disunion have its own consequences?