China on Monday said that the United States has become a “habitual quitter” and its withdrawal from the World Health Organization revealed a pursuit of power politics and unilateralism.

Last week, Trump said his country would terminate its relationship with the WHO, after weeks of accusing the world health body of helping China cover up the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The WHO has denied Trump’s claims that it promoted Chinese “disinformation” about the coronavirus.

“Over the past years, the US has been a habitual quitter,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a briefing on Monday. “It has pulled out of UNESCO, UN Human Rights Council, Paris Agreement, JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], INF Treaty, Treaty on Open Skies, etc. Its latest withdrawal from WHO again reveals its pursuit of unilateralism and power politics.”

On May 18, Trump had given WHO an ultimatum of 30 days to make “substantive improvements” after which, he said he would permanently freeze funding to it. The US is the largest contributor to the global agency. The country had contributed $400 million (approximately Rs 3,040 crore) to the organisation last year – nearly 15% of its entire budget.

Trump’s decision came after Chinese President Xi Jinping said that they will give $2 billion to the WHO over the next two years to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. “China calls on the international community to provide more political support and funding for the WHO,” Zhao said.

On Saturday, the European Union also urged the US to reconsider its decision of withdrawing from the global agency. For long, Trump has accused WHO of refusing to act on the reforms requested by the United States, and claimed that Bejing hid the extent of the coronavirus. Lat month, the US president also called WHO a “puppet of China”.

The coronavirus outbreak was first detected in central China’s Wuhan city late last year. However, there is no evidence that the WHO or Beijing hid the extent of the epidemic in China, and experts generally view Trump’s charges as a way to deflect attention from his administration’s inadequacy in responding to the virus’s spread in the United States.

US is the worst-affected country during the pandemic with over 17.95 lakh cases. Covid-19 has killed more than one lakh people in the country.

In May, Trump had also threatened China with new tariffs claiming that he had seen evidence linking a Wuhan lab to the Covid-19 infection. However, WHO had called his claims “speculative”, saying they had not received any concrete evidence from the United States.

Follow today’s live updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

Read our Top 10 Covid-19 updates here