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Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, attacked the US President for his opening remarks at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Mr Trump accused China of “unleashing” the coronavirus “plague” on the world and demand they be taken to task by the UN. China and the US have seen deteriorating relations over the pandemic, as well as human rights abuses and trade disputes.
Mr Wang, responding the President’s UN remarks, accused Mr Trump of using “disregarded facts and fabricated lies” about China.
He added the accusations were “driven by shady political motives”, and said: “President Trump used the UN podium to level unfounded accusations against China. China firmly opposes these smears.
“Such acts have again shown that unilateralism and bullying are the biggest threat to the world.
“Lies can in no way masquerade as truth. The world is fully aware of China’s record in containing COVID-19, and the people have their fair judgement.”
Mr Wang then claimed “China is a victim of the virus”, echoing the comments made by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the assembly.
Mr Xi, also speaking on the opening of the UN summit, called for a multilateral response to the pandemic and targeted Mr Trump for wanting to “isolate” the US from the world.
He added: “China never initiates ideological confrontation, nor seeks to decouple from other countries, and never seeks hegemony.
“What we think about the most is to help the 1.4 billion Chinese people have a better life and make great contributions to humanity.”
Mr Trump’s opening remarks were also dismissed by other members of the UN.
Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, expressed sadness that Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to the UN. used the Thursday meeting to “make unfounded accusations” against China.
Ms Craft said: “The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to hide the origins of this virus, minimise its danger, and suppress scientific cooperation transformed a local epidemic into a global pandemic.”
She added China’s alleged actions “prove that not all member states are equally committed to public health, transparency , and their international obligations.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also hit out at the lack of international cooperation between the superpowers.
Mr Guterres said the global response to the pandemic was fragmented, leading to nearly a million deaths, and claimed “as countries go in different directions, the virus goes in every direction”.
He added the international community’s failure to tackle the virus “was the result of a lack of global preparedness, cooperation, unity and solidarity”, and said global cooperation is needed to truly stop the spread of the virus.
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The US has seen the worst of the pandemic, with 6,975,980 cases and 202,738 deaths.
China however has mostly contained the virus, with 90,424 cases and 4,738 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.
Global cases of the virus have reached 32,135,220, with deaths at 981,660.
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