China and the United States both supported a draft United Nations Security Council resolution confronting the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday and it was “shocking and regretful” that Washington changed its mind on Friday, a Chinese diplomat said.
A U.S. diplomat refuted the Chinese comment, saying there was no U.S. agreement on the text.
For more than six weeks the 15-member council has been trying to agree on a text that ultimately aims to back a March 23 call by U.N. chief Antonio Guterres for a ceasefire in global conflicts so the world can focus on the pandemic.
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But talks have been stymied by a stand-off between China and the United States over whether to mention the World Health Organization. The United States does not want a reference, China has insisted it be included, while some other members see the mention – or not – of WHO as a marginal issue, diplomats said.
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Washington has halted funding for the WHO, a U.N. agency, after President Donald Trump accused it of being “China-centric” and promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak, assertions the WHO denies.
It appeared the Security Council had reached a compromise late on Thursday,