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China-US Tensions Flare Up at UN over Coronavirus Pandemic

China-US Tensions Flare Up at UN over Coronavirus Pandemic
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

China has accused the US president of spreading what it referred to as a “political virus” in the United Nations General Assembly after Donald Trump blamed Beijing for the coronavirus outbreak.

During his speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump lashed out at Beijing over what he called the “China virus,” and claimed that Beijing had "unleashed this plague onto the world" by shutting down travel domestically and allowing flights abroad.

The US president also said the world "must hold China accountable for their actions" related to the coronavirus pandemic.

"When the international community is really fighting hard against the Covid-19, the United States is spreading a political virus here in the General Assembly," China's ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, told reporters.

"I have to emphasize that the US noise is incompatible with the general atmosphere of the General Assembly," Zhang added.

Trump has repeatedly sought to blame China for the pandemic and has on several occasions accused the World Health Organization [WHO] of siding with Beijing over alleged delaying of an inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Trump administration has claimed there is “enormous evidence” that the new coronavirus purportedly originated in a lab in China, an allegation categorically rejected by the WHO and various scientific experts.

Beijing has also strongly denied such “unfounded” lab claims regarding the origin of the contagious disease, which was transmitted from wildlife to people in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The new disease has so far infected more than 31 million people across the globe and killed over 970,000 others.