Politico

Trump: U.N. ‘must hold China accountable’ for pandemic


President Donald Trump on Tuesday admonished China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic in his address to the United Nations General Assembly, demanding that the intergovernmental organization hold Beijing’s ruling Communist government “accountable for their actions.”

In a pre-recorded speech before the annual meeting of world leaders — rendered largely virtual as a result of the pandemic — Trump accused China of allowing flights of infected people to leave the country in the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as of spreading false information with the help of the World Health Organization.

“Seventy-five years after the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations, we are once again engaged in a great global struggle,” Trump said, invoking the “fierce battle” the United States waged against the “invisible enemy, the China Virus.”

“The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions,” he added.

Trump also criticized China’s environmental policies, accusing its government of allowing rampant overfishing, dumping trash into the oceans and producing unacceptable levels of carbon emissions.

“Those who attack America’s exceptional environmental record while ignoring China’s rampant pollution are not interested in the environment,” Trump said. “They only want to punish America, and I will not stand for it.”

The president’s remarks come less than 50 days before the November election, as Trump has sought to cast himself as tough on China while describing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as beholden to Beijing.

Apart from his fiery rhetoric, Trump also has taken an increasingly hard line against China through a variety of punitive measures related to its management of the coronavirus, exertion of greater authority in Hong Kong and internment of ethnic minorities.

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