Amid propaganda to shift blame, China blocks draft to discuss COVID 19 pandemic issue at UNSC

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 26 Mar 2020

New York: China, which is believed to be the epicentre of the outbreak of COVID 19, has been opposing discussion of the issue in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) even as the Asian giant launched a massive propaganda to wash its hand of the origin of its outbreak, media reports said.

Even as several nations are trying to pass a proposal on the global issue, China has been obstructing it to prevent discussion.

Since its outbreak in China's Wuhan city late last year, Coronavirus has now reached nearly all the nations across the globe and claimed thousands of lives, putting a question mark on the future of global economy which has been bleeding for the past few months.

In what can be assumed as an attempt to cover up its deed, China is also trying to use its influence in preventing any discussion on the burning issue on the floor of the United Nations.

"The pandemic that broke out in Wuhan province of China has infected more than 4.3 lakh people around the globe. But the intergovernmental body United nations hasn’t started discussions over this serious problem. Neither the United Nations General Assembly of 193 members, nor the 15 member UN Security Council has discussed the matter yet," reported OpIndia.

When Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun was asked questions related to the discussion on COVID-19, he said that it is not on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council., reported the news portal.

"The United Nations Security Council is alleged to be divided on its proposal on the pandemic. China has also objections regarding the terminology of the proposal," it said.

According to reports, China and some other countries are blocking a draft to discuss the pandemic at the UNSC. The draft proposal prepared by Estonia highlights 'growing concern about the unprecedented extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in the world, which may constitute a threat to international peace and security', the news portal further reported.

The draft also calls for “full transparency” over the outbreak, which clearly refers to growing criticism that China is hiding vital details about origin about the Virus, making China uncomfortable over the terminology of the draft. 

US president Donald Trump has been alleging that China is misleading the world on the issue. Non-permanent member South Africa opposed the draft first, and later China and Russia also blocked it, reported OpIndia.

One crucial issue, which can be presumed as a major point for China to utilise its position in obstructing every step against it, is the fact that the nation is currently serving as the President of the UN Security Council for March.

The President decides which issue will be discussed at the  UNSC.

The President might change every year but China, being a permanent member, can use its veto power to block discussion on the burning issue of COVID 19 at the UNSC.

The workings of the United Nations, headquartered in New York, has also been badly hit by the growing outbreak of COVID 19. New York City is itself badly hit by the virus.

Indian Journalist Palki Sharma also highlighted the issue and tweeted: "Why hasn’t @UN taken up a discussion on #Coronavirus?Because the UNSC Chair for March is China.The monthly Chair decides the agenda. @ChinaAmbUN says,'there’s no reason to panic at the moment & plan to monitor the situation..COVID-19 currently not on the agenda'."

Author Suhel Seth posted: "Trust me, if world leaders do not castigate Xi Jing Ping [Jingping] and his evil regime, they will do themselves no justice! It’s time to call this rogue of a leader for what he really is. A despotic scoundrel. Who has caused unimaginable harm to the entire world."

Apart from blocking the discussion at the UN, China has also launched a subtle propaganda campaign to build a narrative designed to shift the blame from the COVID 19's place of origin.

"Chinese propaganda machine going full throttle. Have been on Twitter for 11 yrs. Never before subjected to such hatred & trolling as now when reporting China’s criminal negligence on #CoronavirusOutbreak, esp from blue-ticked activists. New KRA to defend China? ग़ज़ब racket है!," tweeted journalist Palki Sharma.

One Twitter user Harbir Singh Nain said China is pressuring Indian journalists to peddle the Chinese government's propaganda on the virus.

"China is pressuring Indian journalists to peddle the Chinese government's propaganda on the #Chinesevirus. Some of them are afraid for their lives and careers if they don't comply. Most are complying. I will not be complying. If I wind up dead, know that China did it," Nain tweeted.

Journalist Nikhil A Gokhale said in an article published in Strat News Global: "The Chinese propaganda machinery seems bent upon creating a narrative so as to distance China from questions pertaining to the origins of the virus."

"It also seeks to ignore or gloss over the fact that China's initial mishandling allowed the outbreak to assume demonic proportions and reach every continent," he wrote.

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