On Friday, President Donald Trump said that the United States will be cutting all ties with the World Health Organization (WHO).
He said the WHO had failed to adequately respond to the COVID-19 because it has been China-centric.
Trump said Chinese authorities “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the global organization to mislead the whole world when the virus was first discovered.
He noted that the United States contributes around $450 million to the WHO while China offers about $40 million. If the United States stops the funding, the WHO may get weak.
Trump said the money would be used to fund “other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” without providing any further details.
The Trump administration is expected to soon expel thousands of Chinese graduate students at US universities. It would also impose other sanctions against Chinese authorities.
Trump said he would make an announcement about China on Friday. He is also weighing targeted travel and financial sanctions against Chinese officials for actions in Hong Kong.
The President told reporters, “We’ll be announcing what we’re doing tomorrow with respect to China and we are not happy with China. We are not happy with what’s happened. All over the world people are suffering, 186 countries. All over the world, they’re suffering. We’re not happy.”
As far as expelling Chinese graduate students is concerned, experts are worried that they will lose talented students and scholars across the world.
Sarah Spreitzer, Director of Government Relations at the American Council on Education, said, “We’re very worried about how broadly this will be applied, and we’re concerned it could send a message that we no longer welcome talented students and scholars from around the globe.”
“We don’t have a lot of details about how they are going to define ties to Chinese universities, what type of universities are they going to target, what would constitute a university having ties to the Chinese military,” she added.
In the 2018-19 academic year, the United States hosted more than 133,300 graduate students from China, and they made up about 36 percent of all international graduate students, per the Institute of International Education. Overall, there were over 369,500 students from China, accounting for more than 33 percent of international students, who contributed nearly $15 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018.