Some weeks ago the Director General of the WHO (World Health Organization) Dr. Tedros Adhamon Ghebreyesus accused Taiwan of racial attacks against him. He even went as far as to say the Taiwanese government was complicit in this racist campaign against him by not denouncing it and even encouraging it. Taiwan denied this. Following these baseless accusations, he failed to provide evidence of his claims. My guess is that his Chinese handlers showed him a few posts floating around there on the internet and told him they came from Taiwan. Also, he felt personally attacked because a petition to have him resign as the head of the WHO, for his many failures, had been launched by someone in Taiwan. The petition had garnered over a million signatures by the time it was closed by the creator, Osaka Yip. I signed that petition and I hope you did too.
Only the problem for him, yet again, is that his words have come back to bite him. In the same week that he was chastising Taiwan with the now infamous phrase, “This attack came from Taiwan” (which had a great hashtag associated with it ,#ThisAttackCameFromTaiwan), China’s government instituted a controversial and entirely racist crackdown of African migrants living in China. Restaurants refused to serve black people, landlords evicted African tenants and left them homeless, Africans were being forcibly tested for the coronavirus, and stores refused them entry. The situation got well out of control with many African nations, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and more raising the issue with Chinese authorities. Some nations, like Nigeria, even summoned Chinese ambassadors and demanded they respond to the allegations. In hindsight, it seems like it was mostly for show, as many didn’t go further than that. But we’ll see.
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Yet Dr. Tedros has remained silent on the issue. Almost as if he isn’t allowed to speak of it, akin to the time Dr. Bruce Aylward pretended not to hear questions about Taiwan and hung up on an RTHK journalist when she repeated her questions…only to answer a follow-up call and insist that he had already spoken about China…which Taiwan is not a part of.
He was quick to condemn the Taiwanese and our authorities for the petition and what he perceived as a racist virtual attack towards Africans from Taiwan, which he claimed was sparked by their discontent with his directorship of the WHO. At the same time, he has kept silent when an actual racist attack is being perpetrated by the Chinese government. The hypocrisy is astounding!
Let me see if I can offer some explanation as to why this could be. We already know how the Chinese government operates in the UN and other international organizations on all matters regarding Taiwan. And how they constantly bully or as they would say “use the carrot and stick method” to push their “One China” propaganda on the world. To better understand this situation, we can take a closer look at Tedros himself.
He was the Minister of Health for Ethiopia, his home country, from 2005 to 2012, during which he had been accused of covering up cholera outbreaks in the country. However, he was also praised for helping in sharply reducing the mortality rate of AIDS and TB patients, and helping to open up thousands of new health centers and 30 new medical universities(DW report). He then became the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, serving from 2012 to 2016. The following year, he was appointed WHO Director General, and has held the position since.
An important bit of context to note is that Ethiopia’s current government is headed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, who came into power in 1991 after overthrowing the previous regime, the “People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia”; the Front has held the seat of power ever since. They considered themselves to be Marxist-Leninist until 1990 when they rebranded and began to operate under a revolutionary democracy Tigray nationalism framework. This was after the fall of the Soviet Union, when “communism” became less popular.
The reason for breaking out his resume and talking about his government is to show that he undoubtedly made friends with Chinese government officials during his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He must have spent a great deal of time with them, seeing as China is the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) partner they have in the country, accounting for about 60 percent of the newly-approved foreign projects in the East African country during 2019, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Report 2020. This is the 4th largest investment China has made in all of Africa. The FDI inflow amounted to $2.5 billion USD in 2019 and 3.3 billion in 2018. That’s a lot of money.
It isn’t hard to see how China would be able to pull the strings on Tedros, as they often threaten to hurt the economies of countries that don’t regurgitate their propaganda. This might also help explain why he praises China and sticks to the CCP narrative as much as possible. He doesn’t really have a choice, does he? And who knows – maybe he has personal investments that could be in jeopardy if he rubs the CCP the wrong way, but there is no way to prove that definitively at this time. The CCP, however, will keep investing in Ethiopia, as it is the home to the African Union and it pays to have influence in the country that houses the political center of Africa.
To conclude, Dr. Tedros Adhamon Ghebreyesus is a massive hypocrite and destroys his own credibility daily with his actions as the Director General of the World Health Organization, and doesn’t need help from Taiwan and its nationals to do so. He is quite capable of finding ways to prove his hypocrisy all on his own. This incident is just one of many and more to come.
by Vincent Lovell
Portion of the cover photo was taken from artists @nagee