The foreign ministers of seven leading western industrialized countries were unable to agree on common guidelines for the fight against the corona virus in a video conference. Main reason: In the preliminary talks, the USA insisted on emphasizing the Chinese origin of the virus in a possible final declaration by the G7.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China, after deliberations, of withholding information about the virus and deliberately spreading misinformation about the origins of the pandemic. “They were the first country to know about the risks this virus poses to the world, and they have repeatedly delayed sharing this information,” said Pompeo.
The Chinese Communist Party has not allowed scientists and experts from the United States who wanted to get an idea on the spot. In addition, high-ranking officials of the party spread “crazy talk” about whether the United States had brought the virus to China. This was also spread on social media. Pompeo said the G7 officials were aware of all of this Chinese “disinformation campaign” during their deliberations.
Pompeo criticized: “The Chinese Communist Party is a major threat to our health and lifestyle, as the Wuhan virus outbreak has shown.” The party also threatens to undermine free and open order in the G7 countries.
The US chief diplomat repeatedly spoke of the “Wuhan virus” during his appearance, emphasizing that the pandemic had started in the Chinese city of Wuhan. According to dpa information, the term “Wuhan virus” also appeared in the US draft for a G7 declaration. This term met with resistance from other members in the preliminary talks. The G7 finally agreed to forego a joint declaration.
Pompeo evaded the question of whether his insistence on the term “Wuhan virus” ultimately prevented a joint final statement. The US Secretary of State described the consultations with his counterparts as successful and said he was sure that all ministers involved had a common understanding of the talks.
Germany and Great Britain submit joint paper
The foreign ministers of Germany and Great Britain, Heiko Maas and Dominic Raab, presented a joint paper at the video conference, on the basis of which a joint approach is now to be discussed. “As far as the procedure is concerned, we have agreed that the cornerstones of a coordinated G7 response to the crisis should now be coordinated on the basis of the German-British proposals,” said Maas after the discussions.
According to the SPD politician, there is basic agreement in the G7 at least on the following goals:
- International cooperation in the development and supply of medicines and vaccines.
- Support for the countries worst prepared for the crisis.
- Combating the dramatic economic consequences of the pandemic – especially for global production and supply chains.
- Development of an early warning system for critical developments due to the spread of corona.
“In a time of global emergency, the ‘group of seven’ is vital,” said Maas. “Especially the economically strongest nations have to act in solidarity and responsibility these days and think beyond their own interests.”