US President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the US will withdraw contributions to the World Health Organisation (WHO) after they praised China’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei backed Mr Trump’s decision, claiming the WHO “lost its responsibility” and risked becoming part of the Chinese propaganda machine. Speaking to ITV’s Peston, Ai Weiwei said: “I think the WHO have totally lost their responsibility.
“It functions pretty badly and, as a result, they’ve become a part of the problem.
“I think Donald Trump has to take action as a big donor to this organisation but I think the actions should be examined.
“I don’t think they will totally stop, they want to make sure the WHO functions well and is not part of the Chinese propaganda machine.”
The Chinese artist, who repeatedly clashed with the Chinese Government over his opposition to their stance on democracy and human rights, insisted Beijing struggled to “open up to the West” and accused them of covering up the real numbers of the coronavirus crisis.
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He continued: “I think there are problems with the Chinese state.
“Not only with this coronavirus crisis, it’s every data they have been giving.
“China has never thought of the truth and transparency are important as their so-called control of the power.”
Ai Weiwei added: “I have so much experience with them, they can always cover up or never reveal what is really happening.
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“I think the real problem is China never totally opened up its policies or information.
“They never really trusted the West and they think their system has nothing to do with the policies of the West.”
President Trump earlier this week accused the WHO of “failing in its basic duty and should be held to account.”
Addressing the press on his daily coronavirus briefing from the White House, the US President said: “We have deep concerns over whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible.
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I am directing my Administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organisation’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death.”
Mr Trump added: “This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage.
“Instead, the WHO willingly took China’s assurances to face value… and defended the actions of the Chinese government.”
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