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Tensions between U.S., China heighten during UN General Assembly over COVID-19, trade Updated: 2020-09-23 10:01:49 KST

The leaders of the U.S. and China clashed over accountability for the coronavirus pandemic during the 75th UN General Assembly, which was held virtually for the first time in history.
President Trump began his pre-recorded speech by calling COVID-19 "the China virus," adding it has claimed countless lives across the world.
His strong rhetoric continued as he urged the UN to hold Beijing accountable for the pandemic.

"As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China. In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China - and infect the world."

Instead of mentioning North Korea, President Trump continued to lash out against Beijing during his speech, which was shorter than many of his international counterparts.
He emphasized how the U.S. has reduced carbon emissions by more than any country even after withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, highlighting that China's rampant pollution does more to damage the environment.
He also stressed how Washington has had to fight against Beijing's trade abuses for the past two decades.
Chinese President Xi Jinping could not refute to what his American counterpart had said as he was not there physically.
However, Beijing's ambassador to the UN responded directly while introducing Xi's video message, saying China rejects the groundless accusation against the country.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, highlighted the crucial role of the World Health Organization in combatting the pandemic, in stark contrast to President Trump, who described the organization as being virtually controlled by Beijing.

"You should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the leading role of the World Health Organization and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic. Any attempt to politicize the issue or stigmatization must be rejected."

Although he did not explicitly mention the United States, Xi also explained that Beijing has no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot one with any country.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.
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