The South China Morning Post reported on May 5 that the European Union has called for a worldwide investigation into the origins and spread of Covid-19 in a move its foreign policy chief described as “standing aside from the battlefield between China and the US”. The EU said the bloc and its 27 member states would co-sponsor a draft resolution calling for an “independent review” into the novel coronavirus that causes the disease when the World Health Assembly convenes for a virtual meeting on May 18. The meeting of the World Health Organisation’s decision-making body is shaping up as a test of China’s diplomatic standing in the wake of the pandemic. In addition to calls for an independent investigation, nations such as the US are also pushing to reinstate Taiwan – which Beijing views as a renegade province – as an observer to the assembly.

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