Ursula von der Leyen Photograph:( AFP )
Different countries are using different diplomatic levers to pressurise China
Ursula von der Leyen, Scott Morrison and US Preisdent Donald Trump, these are leaders of three powerful blocs in world politics and, they all seem to agree on one thing - an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
America is conducting its own probe. Australia has called for a global investigation and now, the president of the European Commission has backed that call.
The European Commission is the executive arm of the European Union with Ursula von der Leyen its president. She was speaking to an American network where she backed the call for a probe.
“I think this is important for all of us, I mean for the whole world it is important. You never know when the next virus is starting, so we all want for the next time, we have learned our lesson and we’ve established a system of early warning that really functions and the whole world has to contribute to that,” the European Commission cheif said.
Not only does she want a probe, she wants China to join it. Beijing cannot feign indifference anymore. The pressure is mounting and it is coming from different directions.
Different countries are using different diplomatic levers to pressurise China. Australia, for instance has opened another front in its diplomatic tussle with the Chinese. Australia now wants to back Taiwan's entry into the World Health Organisation(WHO), move that is bound to infuriate China.
The relationship between Australia and China is already tense. It is now set to significantly worsen on the May 17, that's the day when the WHO assembly will meet.
It is the annual gathering of WHO. member countries. Australia plans to use this occasion to raise a demand. A call for a global independent review into the coronavirus outbreak. Last month, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced his intentions.
Today, he repeated his promise despite the threats from China, Australia is not backing down. US President Donald Trump is going all guns blazing. The US president is looking for ways to punish China. Last night, he launched a fresh attack. The US president said that the virus could have leaked from a lab in China. Donald Trump said he has seen the evidence. Unfortunately for him, US intelligence also released a report saying it wasn't made in a lab..
So if the president has seen the evidence, he clearly hasn't shared it with his intelligence team. It is an explosive claim. The reporters present there asked counter questions. Questions like - is the president insinuating that China intentionally let the virus spread. President Trump did not deny it.