Trump blasts China over COVID-19 as UN warns against ‘Cold War’ Sep 23, 2020 0 294 12345 AFPNEW YORKUS President Donald Trump angrily cast blame on China over the coronavirus pandemic in an address on Tuesday before the United Nations, whose chief warned against a new “Cold War” between the two powers.At a General Assembly held almost entirely virtually due to COVID-19, Trump delivered a speech in full election campaign mode, even using his loaded term “China virus.” “We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world -- China,” Trump said in a recorded address to the General Assembly, where each nation was represented by a single, masked delegate. Trump, who pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, attacked China for its carbon emission as well as dumping of plastic.“Those who attack America’s exceptional environmental record while ignoring China’s rampant pollution are not interested in the environment. They only want to punish America. And I will not stand for it,” he said.Trump renewed his criticism of China’s role in the respiratory disease, news of which was suppressed when cases first emerged late last year in Wuhan. “The Chinese government, and the World Health Organization -- which is virtually controlled by China -- falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission,” Trump said, referring to initial statements by the UN health body that it later revised.Trump has given notice that the United States is pulling out of the World Health Organization.Washington has been the greatest contributor to the health body, which has tackled polio, malaria and other illnesses around the worldCritics say Trump is trying to shift blame for his handling of COVID-19 in the United States. His Democratic rival in November 3 elections, Joe Biden, has vowed to keep the United States in the WHO if he wins.Leaders were asked to send in videos days in advance to avoid technical glitches, meaning Chinese President Xi Jinping could not offer a spontaneous response if he wished. But China’s ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said as he introduced Xi’s speech that Beijing “rejects the unfounded claims” from Trump.Xi, in a mild-mannered speech delivered before a painting of the Great Wall, warned the world not to “politicise” the fight against coronavirus.Xi said that China would contribute another $15 million to a UN fund on coronavirus.“China has no intention of entering a Cold War,” he said, urging the world to avoid “falling into the trap of a clash of civilizations.”UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, opening the General Assembly, also warned of the risks of rising tensions between the United States and China. “We must do everything to avoid a new Cold War,” Guterres 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.” Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Turkey, Greece agree to talks on Mediterranean tensions Sep 23, 2020 0 643 Johnson tightens COVID-19 rules as UK hits ‘perilous turning point’ Sep 23, 2020 0 271 Spain calls on Madrid residents to restrict movements due to virus Sep 23, 2020 0 646 Putin calls for space peace treaty, offers COVID-19 vaccine to UN Moscow Speaking to the United Nations via video link, Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for an international treaty to prohibit weapons in space and offers Russia’s coronavirus vaccine to UN employees for free. .. Trump ‘spreading political virus’ at UN, says Chinese envoy NEW YORK: China on Tuesday accused Donald Trump of spreading a “political virus” at the United Nations after the US leader delivered a harsh attack on Beijing over the COVID-19 pandemic. “When the international .. Trump to announce crucial Supreme Court pick on Saturday Washington President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he will announce his pick on Saturday for the crucial Supreme Court seat left open by the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as Republicans firmed up their majority to .. US passes 200,000 coronavirus deaths AFP Washington The United States registered its 200,000th death from the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump will stay in ..