China stated that USPresident Donald Trump to shift the blame from his "incompetent response" to contain the coronavirus at home, hours after he threatened to pull the US out of the World Health Organisation if it failed to demonstrate "independence" from China.

Iran PressAsia: "The US tries to use China as an issue to shift responsibility and bargain on its international obligations to WHO", which is a miscalculation, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing.

He was responding to questions on Trump's letter to World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus threatening to "permanently freeze" the US funding to the UN health agency if it failed to demonstrate its "independence" from China in the next 30 days.

"The US leadership's open letter is full of vague expressions such as probably etc," Zhao said.

"It tries to mislead the public to smear China and shift the blame from its own incompetent response" to stop the spread of the virus in the US, he said.

"It is futile. Currently, Covid-19 is still spreading in the US and many other places," he said, adding that the US politicians should stop the blame game and work with the international community to stop the spread of the virus.

He also sought to dismiss Trump's threat to "permanently freeze" US contribution to the WHO and highlighted China's increasing contributions to the global body.

Zhao said the WHO membership contributions are jointly determined by the member states."It cannot be determined by the US itself. Paying assessed contributions on time is the obligation of the member states of WHO," he said."It could not be bargained," he said, adding that the US' unilateral threat to stop funding is a violation of its own international obligation in the midst of a pandemic.

He said besides paying its assessed contribution to the WHO, China has provided $50 million donations to fight coronavirus and referred to President Xi Jinping's announcement on Monday to provide a $2 billion funds to help countries hit by the Covid-19.

Zhao said China will continue to support the WHO's work.

"We call on the international community to enhance political and funding support for WHO" in order to defeat the virus, he said.


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