Head of the WHO was 'bought' by China, Mike Pompeo tells MPs

British coronavirus victims died because the head of the World Health Organisation was ‘bought’ by China, U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells MPs

  • Donald Trump ‘s top diplomat was in London to discuss China and other issues
  • He accused the WHO of being a ‘political, not science based organisation’
  • The comments came during a private meeting with a group of cross-party MPs
  • Visit comes amid growing tensions over Hong Kong and human rights abuses
  • Mr Pompeo arrived in a Stars and Stripes mask to meet backbenchers

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that British coronavirus victims have died because the head of the World Health Organization was ‘bought’ by China.    

Pompeo’s comments came during a meeting of cross-party MPs at a private meeting, during which he said that people had died during the pandemic ‘because of the deal that was made’.

President Trump’s top diplomat claimed that Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had struck a bargain with the communist regime to secure his election to the post of WHO director-general. 

Pompeo is currently visiting the U.K. and held meetings with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

During the meeting with both Conservative and Labour MPs, the Secretary of Sate said of the WHO: ‘This is a political, not a science-based organisation and I talk to our experts… they will tell you that there are pieces of it that work.

‘But when push came to shove, when it really mattered most, when there was a pandemic in China, Dr Tedros, who was… bought by the Chinese government,’ he is reported to have said.

‘I can’t say more, but I can tell, I’m saying this on a firm intelligence foundation, a deal was made… there was a deal making election and when push came to shove, you get dead Britons, because of the deal that was made.’

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pictured left with Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a socially distanced meeting in the garden of 10 Downing Street, has arrived in the U.K. amid the two nations’ deteriorating relationship with China

Donald Trump recently announced America’s withdrawal from the WHO, claiming the organisation was under China’s influence.

The US president has described the WHO as a ‘puppet’ of China, following the cover-up by the communist regime of the initial outbreak and its later failure to contain the pandemic.

Critics have said that Trump is attempting to deflect attention from his own administration’s handling of the pandemic ahead of the U.S. elections in November, with the U.S. experiencing the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

Pompeo’s rhetoric has also been aggressive towards China, with the Secretary of State previously claiming that Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated.

WHO Director Dr Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian, was elected in 2017, winning against the British candidate, Dr David Nabarro.

This is the first time that Pompeo – Donald Trump’s top diplomat – is believed to have directly accused Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (pictured above) – the head of the WHO – of being ‘bought’ by China

Pompeo also privately urged the UK to be tougher on China as he publicly praised Britain for standing up to Beijing. 

The U.S. secretary of state used a visit to London to outline a vision for a global coalition to counter the communist regime as he accused its leadership of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to further its own interests. 

Yesterday Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, amid anger at China’s anti-democracy actions in the region and claims of genocide against its Uighur Muslim population.

In reply China has threatened to target UK firms including HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover which operate in the country.

Speaking alongside Mr Raab, Pompeo said Boris Johnson’s administration was right to cool off its relationship over a string of human rights abuses. 

But he used a prior meeting with China hawks from the Tory and Labour backbenches to say the UK needed a ‘grand strategy’ rather than a piecemeal approach, Huff Post reported. 

Speaking at a later press conference he cast China as an aggressor, saying it had made illegal maritime claims, bullied Himalayan countries, covered up the coronavirus outbreak and exploited it to further its own interests in a ‘disgraceful’ way.

‘We hope we can build out a coalition that understands the threat and will work collectively to convince the Chinese Communist Party that it is not in their best interest to engage in this kind of behaviour,’ he added.

Mr Pompeo, who earlier held talks with the Prime Minister and Mr Raab, told a press conference: ‘Yesterday you suspended your extradition treaty and extended your arms embargo on China to Hong Kong itself. We support those sovereign choices, we think well done’

Harry Dunn’s mother blasts ‘lost child’ Dominic Raab 

The mother of the teenage motorcyclist killed in a collision with a US diplomat’s wife accused Dominic Raab of being a ‘lost child in an adult’s world’ today.

Charlotte Charles appeared in person at the gates of Downing Street to watch the arrival of Mike Pompeo to meet the Foreign Secretary and said that ‘words are not enough anymore’.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said the Prime Minister emphasised the need for justice to be done for Mr Dunn in a meeting with Mr Pompeo, adding: ‘He said there was a strong feeling among the people of the UK that justice must be delivered.’

Ms Charles, who was accompanied by her partner Bruce and lawyer Radd Seiger, said: ‘It’s really important that we come here and let them know that Harry was important and they need to realise that. So I’m not going to stay at home.

‘I intend to make sure that they are aware that we’ve made the effort to be here to try to communicate with them.’

A previous request for the extradition of Anne Sacoolas was rejected by the US in January.  

Mr Pompeo, who earlier held talks with the Prime Minister and Mr Raab, added: ‘We talked about how we have seen Hong Kong’s freedom crushed, we have seen the CCP (Chinese communist party) bully its neighbours, militarise reaches of the South China Sea and begin a deadly confrontation with India.

‘I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the British government for its principled responses to these challenges; you have made a sovereign decision to ban Huawei from future 5G networks, you have joined other free nations to condemn China’s broken promises on the Sino-British treaty, you generously opened your doors to Hong Kongers who … are fleeing for freedom.

‘And yesterday you suspended your extradition treaty and extended your arms embargo on China to Hong Kong itself. We support those sovereign choices, we think well done.’

He added that he would be meeting Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners later today, along with Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong before it was handed back to China in 1997. 

The comments came after The Global Times, a Chinese state-controlled news organisation, cited Communist officials as threatening retaliatory action against UK firms. 

The UK was accused of ‘dance to the tune of Americans’ who are urging a hardline approach to the growing super-power.   

Citing Chinese ‘observers’, the Global Times noted: ‘In the face of escalating tensions not only with the UK but also with the US, retaliation is always the last choice for the Chinese government…

‘However, if the UK, as part of the Five Eyes, upholds such a hostile attitude toward China, Beijing may have no other choice but to strike at British companies like HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover in response to the sanctions imposed by 10 Downing Street.’ 

Downing Street insisted it had taken a ‘reasonable’ approach to Beijing after China’s embassy in the UK warned Britain would ‘bear the consequences’ of its decision to extend an arms embargo and suspend an extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was a ‘reasonable and proportionate response to China’s failure to live up to its international obligations with respect to Hong Kong’.

Mr Pompeo, himself a noted critic of China, arrived in a Stars and Stripes mask to meet backbenchers at a London members club before heading to 10 Downing Street.

He was meeting Mr Johnson in a bid to pull Britain ever closer in Washington’s own diplomatic tug-of-war with China.

‘Social distance does not imply diplomatic or political distance,’ Mr Johnson joked as he walked Mr Pompeo into his office in Downing Street earlier.

Afterwards Mr Pompeo tweeted that talks had been ‘constructive’, adding: ‘Our two countries’ long-standing, strong bilateral relationship has laid the foundation for today’s candid discussion on issues ranging from 5G telecommunication to our negotiations for a US-UK free trade agreement.’

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: ‘Joined by the Foreign Secretary, the Prime Minister and Secretary of State discussed the importance of Five Eyes countries taking an ambitious approach to working together on the technologies of the future.

‘They spoke about shared global security and foreign policy issues, including China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the situation in Iran and the Middle East Peace Process.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo flew into London and the middle of a huge row with China today as he held talks with Boris Johnson

Donald Trump ‘s top diplomat also met Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab amid growing tensions over Hong Kong

Mr Pompeo, himself a noted critic of China, arrived in a Stars and Stripes mask to meet backbenchers at a London members club before heading to 10 Downing Street

‘The Prime Minister and Secretary of State also underlined their commitment to negotiate a strong UK-US Free Trade Agreement that benefits the economies of both countries.

‘The Prime Minister reiterated the need for justice to be done for Harry Dunn and his family. He said there was a strong feeling among the people of the UK that justice must be delivered.’

The range of steps taken by Johnson in the past month threaten to bring an early end to a ‘golden decade’ in cooperation that former British finance minister George Osborne promised on a visit to Beijing in 2015.

London has also outraged Beijing by offering nearly three million residents of Hong Kong a pathway to UK citizenship in response to a highly controversial security law that China imposed on the former British colony last month.

Britain followed that up on Monday by suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and extending an arms embargo of ‘potentially lethal weapons’ that had previously applied only to mainland China.

Arriving in London last night Mr Pompeo wrote on Twitter: ‘Great to be back in London to reaffirm the special relationship we share with our closest ally.

‘Looking forward to meeting with Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab as we tackle our most pressing global issues in combating Covid-19 and addressing our shared security challenges.’

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