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US president Trump cuts ties, terminates WHO funding permanently

President Trump of US, mixed bag of micro economy for the citizens

The US president said that he will redirect its funding from the Geneva-based WHO towards other global public health organisations.
United States President Donald Trump on Friday evening announced that the global superpower has decided to terminate all ties with the World Health Organisation (WHO) after alleging that it failed to monitor and regulate the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization,” the US president said addressing an aggressive speech from the Rose Garden of the White House.
The president said that he will redirect its funding from the Geneva-based WHO towards other global public health organisations
The Republican leader, however, did not take any questions.
Last month, President Donald Trump had frozen the US funding to WHO and threatened to withdraw it permanently if the UN agency did not follow through their recommendations. HE had also confidently claimed that the deadly virus that has affected people across the globe had originated in a Chinese lab in Wuhan city. China had, however, denied the allegations.

The world needs answers from China on the virus, he said. “We must have transparency…We must have answers not only for us but for the rest of the world,” he said.
Trump also announced a series of decisions against China including issuing a proclamation to deny entry to certain Chinese nationals and tightening of regulations against Chinese investments in America. He said that the US will end special treatment of Hong Kong in response to Chinese imposition of new controls and revise its travel advisory to warn of surveillance in Hong Kong.

Trump said that later in the day, he will issue a proclamation to better secure America’s vital university research and to suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who have been identified as potential security risks.

Emewu, other experts on China hail country’s new Civil Code as impetus to modernization of governance


The codification of a civil code is a major step for China to promote a comprehensive rule of law in the country and modernize its governance system and capacity, overseas legal experts have said.

The experts views were published on the website of the NPC&CPPCC 2020 Annual Session, a special series of the www.xinhuanet.com, the Chinese News Agency at then round-off the Chinese annual legislative session for the year.

Chinese lawmakers on Thursday voted to adopt the country’s Civil Code at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress. The Civil Code will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Ikenna Emewu, Executive Director of the Afri-China Media Center based in Nigeria, told Xinhua in Lagos that China’s first-ever Civil Code is a welcome development.

With this Civil Code eventually crystalizing into a law, it would be one of the landmarks of the Chinese government and take China further on the way to national rejuvenation, he said.

Emewu said the benefits of this code are manifold and make China’s investment environment more friendly to foreign investments.

It is another testimony to the Chinese government’s commitment to people-centered governance, he said, adding the code will help China on its way to the rule of law and modernization of governance.

Loh Chang Woo, president of the Malaysia China Legal Cooperation Society, said compiling a civil code is a milestone in China’s legislative history.

The Civil Code puts people first and keeps pace with the times, he said. To rely on the Civil Code to solve all kinds of social problems and protect people’s personal and property rights will be a powerful way for China to modernize its governance system and capacity, he said.

Over the last few decades, it has been an international trend that the demand for the protection of individual rights, such as personal dignity, is growing, he said.

China’s Civil Code has added personality rights, which embodies the Chinese government’s people-oriented philosophy, he said.

Malaysia can learn from China with regard to the code of conduct in human embryo science research and other emerging fields, he said.

Oleg Timofeyev, associate professor at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, said China’s first Civil Code involves many issues of vital interest to the Chinese people and is of milestone significance.

At present, China is vigorously promoting comprehensive law-based governance and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and the Civil Code is a useful exploration on this path, he said.

It is one of the highlights of China’s Civil Code to contain a specific provision on personality rights, Timofeyev said.

In the era of big data, personal information protection, prohibition of sexual harassment and other issues are not only common problems faced by China, but also by all countries in the world, he said, adding the Chinese Civil Code has made regulations on these issues, providing good legislative reference for other countries to solve these issues.

Christine Bierre, editor-in-chief of France’s Nouvelle Solidarite magazine and an expert at the Schiller France Institute, said the Civil Code is an important symbol of China’s modernization of the rule of law.

It will play a positive role in promoting a comprehensive rule of law in China, as well as modernizing the country’s governance system and capacity, she said.

Collin Hawes, associate professor in the Law Faculty at the University of Technology Sydney, said it is certainly important to have a more detailed and internally consistent legal code to guide Chinese judges when they decide civil law disputes, and in this sense, the new civil code is a milestone.

Prominent Egyptian legal expert Shawky al-Sayyid said in an interview with Xinhua that the content of China’s Civil Code represents a model for all countries to follow.

The Civil Code will promote the rule of law, he said, and its elements and articles represent a great awakening for humanity, a revival of moral values and the regulation of rights and freedom, as well as a progressive step towards new fields in civil life and its regulation.

The Civil Code addresses modern fields that need regulation, he said, adding that it responds to actual life, regulates personal rights, and protects the people for the sake of humanity and the future.


Caught in the crossfire: 370,00 Chinese students in US struggle to get home from the US as rift deepens


Ethan Qi should already be home for the summer.

The Shanghai native, who recently graduated from a university in Boston, planned to fly back to China in May but could not get a ticket because of the coronavirus pandemic

He tried twice to register for flights announced by the Chinese consulate in New York but was not able to secure a seat, leaving him to wait in Boston for one of the few flights home.

Now he may have to wait even longer. The US Department of Transportation last week said it would require Chinese carriers to file proposed flight schedules at least 30 days in advance, in response to Beijing not yet approving US carriers’ applications to resume services to China.

“My friends and I are not too worried because we think we will be able to buy flights later in June or July, although we have seen a lot of people around us already have their flights back to China pushed back,” Qi said. “But it will be quite concerning if US-China relations deteriorate further and they stop flights entirely or something like that.”

The nearly 370,000 Chinese students in the United States have been among those caught in the crossfire of tit-for-tat air travel restrictions between Beijing and Washington, as the major powers continue to lock horns during the pandemic.

Beijing said it opposed the US government’s disruption of Chinese airline operations, and that the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) notice in March that restricted airlines to one flight per week – known as the “Five Ones” policy – applied equally to foreign and domestic carriers. The CAAC did not respond to a faxed request for comment.

The US now requires Chinese carriers to file proposed flight schedules at least 30 days in advance. Beijing, meanwhile, has yet to approve applications from US carriers to restart services to China.

  But Joel Szabat, assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs, wrote in the US transport department’s notice on May 22 that the CAAC had not approved applications from American carriers, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, to resume passenger services to China. In response, Washington required Chinese carriers – Air China, Beijing Capital Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines – to file their existing flight schedules to the US government by Wednesday, and file new flight services at least one month beforehand.

“We find that the government of China has, over the objections of the US government, impaired the operating rights of US carriers and denied them the fair and equal opportunity to exercise their operating rights under the agreement,” Szabat wrote.

According to the notice, there were 325 weekly scheduled flights between China and the US in early January, a number that dropped in mid-February to 20 flights operated by four Chinese carriers, then rose to 34 by Chinese carriers in March. Meanwhile, US carriers have suspended passenger flights to China since early February.

On Friday, the US embassy in Beijing said in a notice that the CAAC planned to extend its “Five Ones” policy until June 30. Four Chinese carriers – Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Air – currently fly direct routes from China to the US.

Koji Nagata, director of Asia-Pacific communications for United, said the airline was not currently operating flights between China and the US, but the company would “look forward to resuming those flights – to the benefit of our customers and communities in the US and China – when the regulatory environment allows us to do so”

Sherry Shen, a spokeswoman for Delta, said the airline was “still waiting for government approval” for its restart of passenger flights to China, including a request to begin daily flights from Detroit to Shanghai through a transfer in Seoul, and from Seattle to Shanghai via Seoul.

The Chinese carriers named in the US notice did not respond to requests for comment.

Scott Kennedy, senior adviser and trustee chair in Chinese business and economics at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said US President Donald Trump’s administration was practising “negative reciprocity” by removing benefits from China in response to similar actions from Beijing.

“The restrictions on journalists, investment and airlines all fit into this pattern,” he said, referencing recent US measures on Chinese journalists and investments. “So far, Beijing has not withdrawn its restrictions in response, but rather escalated further still. We’ll find out whether either side is willing to compromise to spare the relationship.”

SOURCE:scmp.com 00000

Because blacks are more in US covid-19 deaths, experts say it’s racial pandemic within the viral pandemic


Even as President Trump and many of his allies are rushing to reopen the nation from a months-long pandemic lockdown, that pandemic continues to devastate communities of color, a raft of witnesses warned legislators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

The pandemic, they said, was being compounded by long-standing government divestment in areas like health care and broadband Internet. Those warnings came as a stark rejoinder to images of crowded beaches in parts of Florida and California.

In fact, as some parts of the country recover, others remain in the heat of the battle against the coronavirus. But because some of those places, including prisons and Native American reservations, are largely out of public view, struggles with the coronavirus have been essentially invisible to the nation at large.

Wednesday’s hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee, conducted remotely and titled “The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color,” was intended to highlight the fact that the disease that causes the coronavirus is far from a distant memory for many Americans. But by inviting a conservative economist as their witness — and referring frequently and favorably to his pro-reopening arguments — the committee’s Republicans seemed to indicate that their sole focus was on recovery. 

Political forecasters believe that the extent and success of recovery from the pandemic, which has so far killed 100,000 Americans and left more than 30 million without jobs, will determine whether President Trump holds on to the White House and down ballot Republicans retain their seats. But for Democrats and many of their allies, talk of an economic recovery is premature.

Among the witnesses was Ibram X. Kendi, a professor at American University in Washington D.C., whose book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” has been widely praised for its recommendations on how to combat systemic racism. In his opening remarks to the committee — which conducted the hearing virtually — Dr. Kendi called the coronavirus a “racial pandemic within the viral pandemic.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has found a “disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups,” appears to confirm that assertion. And a study by Amfar, the Foundation for Aids Research, found that majority-black counties accounted for nearly half of COVID-19 cases and 58 percent of COVID-19 deaths.

That same study posited some reasons for the high burden of disease on communities of color, black communities in particular, such as “health care access, density of households, unemployment [and] pervasive discrimination.” The researchers discounted “intrinsic characteristics of black communities or individual-level factors” as reasons for those high infection rates.

People of color are more likely to work jobs that have been deemed “essential,” including those in retail, agriculture and municipal services. Wealthier, whiter Americans, meanwhile, are more likely to have the kinds of jobs that allow them to work from home, thus avoiding situations where infection is likely. 

Other witnesses drew attention to the needs of the communities with which they work. Dr. Alicia Fernandez of the University of California at San Francisco, for example, said that while telehealth was a promising development, unless Spanish-language services were available, such services would remain out-of-bounds for many in the Latinx population.

Dr. Raynal Samoa highlighted the plight of Pacific Islanders, whose multigenerational living arrangements he said made them more privy to contract the coronavirus. Dr. Samoa, an endocrinologist at the City of Hope cancer hospital in Los Angeles also described Pacific Islanders as especially susceptible to the disease because of what he said were their “extremely high rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease.”

Dr. Thomas Sequist, chief patient experience and equity officer at Mass General Brigham in Boston, painted a troubling portrait of how the coronavirus has ravaged Native American lands. Dr. Sequist, who belongs to the Taos Pueblo tribe of New Mexico, put the matter bluntly, in the form of a rhetorical question: “How do you battle a pandemic effectively without running water or electricity?”

Dr. Sequest was referring specifically to Navajo Nation, a native American reservation that in recent weeks has become a coronavirus hot spot. In fact, the reservation gained the distinction of having the highest per-capita infection rate in the nation. Previously, the highest infection rates had been recorded in and around New York City, which is both much more densely populated and has many more visitors than the impoverished Navajo communities of the Southwest.

This was the second day in a row that the Navajo Nation outbreak was discussed in a congressional hearing. The day before, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., pressed the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate how Zachary Fuentes, a former top aide to President Trump, won a contract to supply N95 respirators to two Navajo Nation hospitals. Fuentes has no experience in medical device procurement; some of the masks he supplied to the Navajo hospitals may not meet medical standards.

The sole Republican witness was Douglas Holtz-Eaken, a conservative economist who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office during the George W. Bush administration. Dr. Holtz-Eaken is a proponent of tax cuts, which tend to benefit wealthier individuals. In his opening statement, Dr. Holtz-Eaken advocated for a broad reopening of the economy, which he asserted would help all Americans. 

Republicans returned to that argument repeatedly, for the most part avoiding substantive discussion of racial disparities. There is now a single Republican African-American member of Congress: Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

While the hearing served to highlight racial disparities, there were few concrete proposals to correct them, given how deeply entrenched they are in American society. One novel proposal came from James Hildreth, who heads the Meharry Medical College in Nashville. (Meharry is a historically black college and university, or HBCU).


Expert faults lawsuits filed in U.S. courts against China over COVID-19 as violation of int’l law


By Huang Jin

The recent lawsuits against China over COVID-19 filed in U.S. courts are not just untenable, but constitute a gross violation of international law and China’s national sovereignty.

Since March, some senators, government officials, media outlets, think tanks and non-governmental organizations in the U.S. have hyped up absurd arguments against China, claiming that China should be held accountable and compensate other countries for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such instigation has led to multiple legal actions against Chinese government over COVID-19 in the U.S., all demanding accountability and huge compensation from China.

According to the U.S. media, the Attorney General for the State of Missouri filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Missouri, demanding that the Chinese government take responsibility and make compensations for the global pandemic. This is an extreme rare case as it doesn’t always happen that a regional government of a country tries to hold a sovereign state accountable through a domestic court.

At present, relevant scientific issues revolving around the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic are gradually turning into international political and public opinion topics requesting China to take responsibility and make compensations, becoming a weapon for international anti-China forces to manipulate public opinions.

The lawsuits against China over the COVID-19 pandemic can be regarded as a battle between municipal law of certain countries and the universally applicable international law.

The current lawsuits filed in the U.S. against the Chinese government are all based on municipal laws of the U.S.

As a matter of fact, those who attempt to sue a sovereign foreign state and handle affairs between countries through domestic court and abuse of municipal law in total disregard of universally recognized international law are actually using municipal law to confront international law, using domestic rule of law to compete with international rule of law, overturning international order with domestic order, and substituting unilateralism for multilateralism.

Such despicable and yet typical acts of the U.S. are the results of the country’s long-standing tradition to pursue power politics and hegemonism, which represent grave destruction of the international system with the United Nations (UN) at the core established after World War II.

The Peace of Westphalia, established at the Congress of Westphalia between 1643 and 1648, stipulated the principle of independence and equality of sovereign state. After World War II, the basic principle of international law was later reaffirmed in Article 2 of Chapter I of the UN Charter.

The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members,’ said the UN Charter. Sovereign equality was stressed in the first of all the principles the organization and its members shall act in accordance with.

On the basis of the principle, a sovereign state handling matters according to its sovereignty shall not be compelled by the dictates of any other authority, and allows no external interference; any other state or authority has no right to exercise its own sovereignty in a sovereign state; the exertion of sovereignty rights of a sovereign state shall only be restricted on a voluntary basis.

In addition, a sovereign state shall not be forced into submitting international disputes concerning it to arbitration or judicature, and its acts and property are not subject to the jurisdiction of courts of a foreign country.

The integrity of a country’s national sovereignty is inviolable. No authority can weaken the national sovereignty of a sovereign state or deprive it of its national sovereignty.

It can be seen that the ludicrous lawsuits filed in U.S. courts against the Chinese government, especially the one filed by the Attorney General for the State of Missouri in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Missouri, in fact constitute serious violation of China’s national sovereignty, run counter to the universally recognized principle regarding national sovereignty stated in the UN Charter, and represent completely unlawful act that goes against international law.

Huang is president of the Chinese Society of International Law