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China news: US and China face-off in tense UN summit over coronavirus accusations | World | News

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Top officials from the three nations traded accusations at this year’s socially distanced UN General Assembly summit. The dispute also involved topics related to the health crisis including its politicisation.

The exchanges have sparked fears that existing tensions among those countries could rapidly escalate.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hinted at countries such as the US not agreeing to making a coronavirus vaccine available worldwide.

He added that the leading powers had a duty to protect lives and cooperate to find a solution to the health crisis instead of acting from a Cold War mindset.

Alluding the US and European Union’s sanctions, he added: “Unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction needs to be opposed in order to safeguard the authority and sanctity of international law.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the health crisis and its “common misfortune did not iron out interstate differences, but to the contrary deepened them.”

china news: donald trump and xi jinping

China and US spark fears of all-out war in intense coronavirus spat (Image: Getty)

He said: “In a whole number of countries there is a temptation to look abroad for those who are responsible for their own internal problems.

“And we see attempts on the part of individual countries to use the current situation in order to move forward their narrow interests of the moment in order to settle the score with the undesirable governments or geopolitical competitors.”

In response to the remarks by the Chinese and Russian representatives, United States’ UN ambassador, Kelly Craft said: “Shame on each of you. I am astonished and disgusted by the content of today’s discussion.”

She said some officials were “squandering this opportunity for political purposes.”

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China news: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Image: Getty)

Ms Craft added: “President Trump has made it very clear: We will do whatever is right, even if it’s unpopular, because, let me tell you what, this is not a popularity contest.”

At the end of the summit, Chinese UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said China refuted the “baseless accusations” by the United States.

He added: “Abusing the platform of the UN and its Security Council, the US has been spreading political virus and disinformation, and creating confrontation and division.

“The US should understand that its failure in handling Covid-19 is totally its fault.”

It comes days after the United Nations’ secretary-general warned that China and the Unites States could be responsible for the beginning of new Cold War amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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China news: US vs China military power

US vs China military power (Image: Express)

Antonio Guterres issued the warning during a summit at the General Assembly Hall in New York.

He urged countries to cooperate and facilitate a global ceasefire in the midst of the pandemic.

Mr Guterres stressed that the global pandemic was not just a “wake-up call,” but a “dress rehearsal” for future crises.

He said: “Covid-19 has laid bare the world’s fragilities: rising inequalities, climate catastrophe, widening societal divisions, rampant corruption.

“The pandemic has exploited these injustices, preyed on the most vulnerable and wiped away the progress of decades.

“People are hurting, our planet is burning.”

China news: United States’ United Nations ambassador, Kelly Craft

United States’ United Nations ambassador, Kelly Craft (Image: Getty)

On Tuesday, he called for a 100-day effort by the international community, led by the Security Council, “to make this a reality by the end of the year”.

He added: “At the same time, we must do everything to avoid a new Cold War.”

Mr Guterres also reiterated his words last year regarding the mounting tensions between US and China.

He said: “We are moving in a very dangerous direction.

“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.

“A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geo-strategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs.”


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