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Trump Demands U.N. Hold China to Account for Coronavirus Pandemic

作者:admin 2020-09-25

ImageTrump Demands U.N. Hold China to Account for Coronavirus Pandemic

Mr. Xi, by contrast, described China as a benevolent power that does not wish ill on anyone, without mentioning China’s expansionist behavior in the South China Sea, mass detentions in Xinjiang, political repression in Hong Kong and warnings to Taiwan, the self-governing island that China’s ruling Communist Party regards as Chinese territory.

“Covid-19 reminds us that we are living in an interconnected global village with a common stake,” Mr. Xi said. “No country can gain from others’ difficulties or maintain stability by taking advantage of others’ troubles.”

In a swipe at Mr. Trump’s go-it-alone approach to international diplomacy and trade, Mr. Xi said: “Burying one’s head in the sand like an ostrich in the face of economic globalization or trying to fight it with Don Quixote’s lance goes against the trend of history.”

The U.S.-China divide quickly emerged as a dominant theme at this year’s General Assembly session, which itself is a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in the 75-year history of the United Nations, no leader attended the session this year; they sent their speeches via prerecorded video instead.

The delegation of each of the 193 member states was limited to one or two people, spaced far apart and wearing masks in the General Assembly hall, which normally would be teeming with dignitaries. Most of the side meetings, unofficial person-to-person diplomacy and spontaneity that ordinarily color such events are not happening this year.

The contrived feel of this year’s meeting has come against a backdrop of cascading crises of regional conflict, climate change, widening poverty and hunger, all amplified by the coronavirus, exposing what critics have called chronic weaknesses in the United Nations.

Despite the best intentions of Secretary General António Guterres, the organization’s basic inability to orchestrate an effective, global response to the pandemic has been on full display for months. His call for a cease-fire in the wars that have ravaged Yemen, Syria and Libya, first made in March, has gone largely unheeded, and in his own speech on Tuesday he expressed hope for one by year’s end.

“Our world is struggling, stressed and seeking real leadership and action,” Mr. Guterres said. “We face a foundational moment. Those who built the United Nations 75 years ago had lived through a pandemic, a global depression, genocide and world war. They knew the cost of discord and the value of unity.”

Now, he said, “we face our own 1945 moment.”

Mr. Guterres also seemed especially mindful of threats to the United Nations posed by the rift between the United States and China, the two biggest funders of the organization.

“We are moving in a very dangerous direction,” he said. “Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a Great Fracture — each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities.”

Such a divide, he said, “risks inevitably turning into a geostrategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs.”

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