US-China tensions flare over coronavirus at UN General Assembly

US-China tensions flare over coronavirus at UN General Assembly
Trump, Xi Jinping and Guterres address the UN General Assembly.
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Daily US Times: Tensions between China and the US and China came to the fore of the annual UN General Assembly in New York, with the US President blaming China for the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Trump called for China to be held “accountable” for the pandemic.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his speech that his country had “no intention to enter a Cold War with any country”.

Ties between Beijing and Washington are strained on a number of fronts.

This year’s UN General Assembly at New York is largely being held virtually, with world leaders providing pre-recorded speeches.

The new format meant some of the geopolitical theatre normally on offer at the key UN meeting was absent. Each country was represented by a single delegate and there was little opportunity for one nation to rebut another.

But as often is the case for speeches to the assembly, President Donald Trump used his address to tout his achievements and tear into a rival.

He said: “We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague on to the world – China.”

Mr Trump accused China of mismanaging the situation saying in the earliest days of the virus, it locked down travel domestically, while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world.

He added: ”China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they cancelled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.”

President Trump, whose own dealing with the coronavirus is under close scrutiny as the US heads towards elections just few weeks later, has frequently accused Beijing of covering up the virus, saying they could have stopped the disease spreading. China has called the attacks an unfounded distraction.

The US death toll for coronavirus crossed 200,000, which is the highest in the world and President Trump has often downplayed the disease.

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