By: Kumar Ramesh
No one needs to tell what is going on around the world with coronavirus, but at the moment the biggest debate is whether China should be punished for the tragedy the world is suffering due to spreading and hiding this epidemic. Recently, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that he would demand the World Health Organization and the United Nations to ban China’s wet market; because of this many viruses are coming out of the wildlife and reaching humans. Also, the day before yesterday, the International Council of Jurists has moved a lawsuit filed against China for conducting international investigations and compensation against the coronavirus for endangering people’s lives. The petition has been filed against the Communist Party of China, the People’s Liberation Army and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, alleging how China has invoked Article 25A of the Universal Charter of Human Rights 1948, Article 6, 7, 8 of the International Health Regulation Act 2005 and the violated Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights 1966, Whereas China is legally binding country to do nothing like this under the United Nations Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Act 2001. This petition was filed by the Honorable Dr. Atish Aggarwala, who is currently the President of the same International Council of Jurists and also the Chairman of the All India Bar Council.
The dual character of China is being whipped around the world today and it is being discussed with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been increasing the aggression of China all over the world since he came to power. Today, as many countries are being affected as many were not involved in World War I and World War II, but this epidemic has given rise to whether China can be punished. Because China is no longer a starvation country like in 1980, today it is the second largest military power and economy superpower country after the US. So he took the whole world into recession to avenge the trade war regardless of which he was successful. The biggest reason for this boldness is permanent membership and veto power in the United Nations Security Council. Surrounded on all sides, China has recently appealed to India not to call coronavirus as Chinese or Wuhan virus on any platform. Amidst all this there is an ongoing investigation into the hidden fact of how 21 million SIMs and 08 million landlines were closed together in Wuhan during coronavirus. It is being discussed a lot because like the Indian SIM, it not only attached the Aadhar and PAN card, but the Chinese SIM there also means the complete identity of a person who is attached to the facial recognition scan system. Most reports are saying that the official number of infected in China was different but it never let it be known.
Let us follow our headline on whether China can be removed from the UN Security Council. The answer will be found at the end of the article because when the United Nations Charter was made in 1945, no such provision was included in it, how a member can be removed from the group. Today it has 193 members and this organization can take action on any matter, even humanity and health emergency on coronaviruses, but there are two ways of doing these actions, one is procedural and the other is non-procedural. The biggest challenge is that most of the affairs of the UN depend on the Security Council. Article 23 of this UN charter states about the formation of the Security Council and its 15 members, it is also interesting to know that till 1963 it used to have only 11 members but amended in 1963 and increased its number of members. In terms of China, like all permanent members, its greatest strength is veto power, and this veto power comes from Article 27C of the United Nations Charter. In which it has been determined that 9 votes are required to pass any kind of resolution in which the consent of all the five permanent members is mandatory, it is called Conquering vote. As I said earlier, nowhere in the charter that members of the Security Council can be removed, so there may be some ethical and unethical ways on which China can be removed by acting on it. The first legal approach is to amend it under Chapter-XVIII of the UN Charter to add to the process of removing a member, but the biggest challenge in this is that the amendment mandates the consent of P-5 members along with two-thirds members of the UN General Assembly. Now when China has to be removed, why would it vote in its favor. Second, Article 06 of the Charter states that action can be taken if a member country has violated the principles of the Charter. But again, the same challenge even for this. So, both these ethical procedures cannot be possible while China.
There are other ways in which China can be removed by acting. Those avenues are unethical as it is not possible through legal procedures. The third way is that all member countries boycott China due to coronavirus’s negligence and misleading information, but will Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey etc. allow isolating China. In this scenario, I remembering British Prime Minister’s world-famous quote when he said that in diplomacy there is no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests of countries. In such a situation, if no country will allow China to be isolated, then the reason behind this is dependency on China. Not only some countries, in today’s globalization almost all countries need China, India too. Apart from that, it will also be the biggest economy and military power of the future, so this third method also does not seem possible. The fourth way is that not all countries are possible, if 40-50 countries like America, Britain, France, India, Japan, Australia, Germany, which are strong in military and economy, can declare China as unrestricted country and put on the pressure to United Nations and other global organizations. But again the problem is the same, who will be able to put pressure on China after all. Therefore, the fifth and last way is to reform or change the United Nations completely. This will also strengthen the process of making India a P-6 member and the clause of expulsion can also be added.
You will be surprised to know that this has happened once in the history of the United Nations, when the permanent member of the Security Council was replaced. That country is China. Since China was not among the permanent members of the Security Council when the United Nations was created in 1945, it was today’s Taiwan, the Republic of China. But in 1949, Mao Zedong captured Manland China with his gorilla war and established communist nation and declared himself the People’s Republic of China. Along with this, China also formulated the One China Policy, under which countries of the world will either consider the People’s Republic of China or the Republic of China. In this way China’s military power and economy increased manifold, after which China was given permanent membership of the Security Council instead of Republic of china. Today the situation is that many countries like Republic of China means Taiwan, Palestine, Kosovo, Holy See are wandering to become members of the present United Nations but no country wants to support them and compete with Superpower America and China. In such a situation, I do not think that China can be excluded from the Security Council for 50–100 years at present. Nevertheless, we will see how the world pressures the United Nations and China on the negligence of coronavirus. (The writer is a Criminologist, Foreign Affairs Analyst and World Record holder. He can be reached at Tweeter: @KumarRamesh0 & Mo.: +91 81092 62550)