Photo taken on July 7, 2020 shows the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the United States. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Official withdrawal by the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO) is a move that damages the global fight against COVID-19, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a press briefing when asked to comment on a report, which said the United States on Tuesday formally submitted its notification of withdrawal from the WHO to United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres.
"This move has once again revealed the U.S. side's pursuit of unilateralism as a habitual quitter," said Zhao.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the WHO, as the most authoritative and professional institution in global public health security, has played a central role of coordination that is essential in global response to the pandemic, Zhao said.
The battle against COVID-19 is at a critical moment now. To support the WHO is to support global anti-pandemic cooperation and the act of saving lives, he said, adding that the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO has damaged the international effort to fight the virus and negatively affected developing countries which need urgent international support.
"We urge the U.S. side to earnestly fulfill its international duties and obligations as a major country. We also call on the international community to further consolidate consensus in endorsing multilateralism, increase support for the WHO, and jointly safeguard global public health security," he said. ■