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Beijing blocks UNSC meeting on coronavirus

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NEW DELHI: China blocked a discussion in the UN Security Council about the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world, sought earlier this week by Estonia, in a sign that reflects the limitations of the highest global governing body to debate the hot topics of the day.

Estonia, which is a non-permanent member, had requested a meeting on the pandemic last week. The document emphasized “growing concern about the unprecedented extent of the Covid-19 outbreak in the world, which may pose a threat to international peace and security.”

The proposal, however, did not go very far, with China and Russia rejecting the idea. Sources said the P-5 did not appear to be overly interested in holding a meeting on an issue that is devastating countries and the global economy, with virtually no early end in sight.

Some reports say Estonia’s proposal called for “transparency” that China was unwilling to address. Beijing has faced an avalanche of accusations that it hid the incidence of the highly infectious coronavirus for more than a month before reporting cases of unexplained pneumonia in Wuhan in late 2019. As the UN interrupted a discussion when G-20 leaders sat down In Thursday, for a unique virtual summit, the transparency and the origin of the virus were not questioned.

Official sources said the conversation was one of collaboration and cooperation, meaning the United States and China may have left their acrimony behind for now. In 2015, the Security Council held a similar meeting when the Ebola virus was an imminent threat, particularly to UN missions in Africa.

But this time it is different. China is not only the source of the pandemic, the rivalry between the United States and China is also developing deep down, with President Donald Trump insisting on referring to the disease as the “China virus.” According to recent reports, the UN Security Council has not met since March 12. Calls for UNSC virtual meetings in the era of social estrangement and blockades have also found no merit in either China or Russia.

Times of India

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