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Zhang Jun issued a statement condemning the US President’s remarks at the annual UN General Assembly, where Mr Trump blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic. China has firmly denied any accusation that it withheld information from the World Health Organisation and other countries about the virus, and has attacked the US for its remarks. China has recently contained the virus, and seen little to no new cases and deaths reported.
Mr Zhang’s statement denied Mr Trump’s charges of lying about the pandemic and attacked the leader for using it as a political talking point.
The Chinese ambassador also warned other members of the UN Mr Trump is spreading a “political virus”.
He said: “China firmly rejects and opposes the groundless accusations made by the United States against China during the General Debate on 22 September.
“When the international community is going all out to fight COVID-19, the United States is spreading a political virus.”
Mr Zhang followed his attacks on the US with a plea for international cooperation on the virus.
He added: “The world is at a crossroads. At this moment, the world needs more solidarity and cooperation, but not confrontation.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping echoed his ambassador’s comments, and vowed Beijing will put forward more cash for a coronavirus vaccine and has “no intention” of starting a Cold War with any country.
The President said: We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.
“We will not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in zero sum game. Unilateralism is dead.”
The ambassador’s comments followed Mr Trump’s pre-recorded message to open the assembly.
The President took aim at China and levelled a series of accusation claiming the country is responsible for the pandemic.
He said: “We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world, China.”
Mr Trump went on to claim China condemned the US for banning travel from the Asian country, despite China locking down themselves.
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Mr Trump also took aim at the WHO, after pulling US funding from the international health body earlier this year.
During his address, he claimed the body was “virtually controlled by China”.
Mr Zhang rebuffed the US leader’s claims, and said China was “open” and “transparent” from the beginning of the pandemic.
He added: “China’s important contribution to the global fight against the pandemic is highly recognized and commended by the international community, a fact that no one can deny.”
The UN address is the latest flashpoint of tension between the two countries, with relations souring thus year due to the pandemic.
Relations have also declined over the US’s actions against China’s human rights violations against Hong Kong and Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
China in turn has accused the US of human rights violations due to gun violence and police brutality.
Mr Trump has also expressed his desire to “decouple” the US economy from China’s over a collapsed trade deal agreed last year.
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