Beijing, September 23
China on Wednesday hit out at US President Donald Trump for his hard-hitting remarks against Beijing at the UN General Assembly session, saying his allegations were full of “fabricated lies” driven by “shady political motives”.
In his address on Tuesday, Trump blasted China for “unleashing” the plague of the “China virus” onto the world, demanding that the United Nations must hold Beijing accountable for failing to contain the coronavirus that has killed nearly one million people across the world, including 2,00,000 Americans.
Slamming Trump’s speech, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the American leader’s UNGA remarks about China “disregarded facts and fabricated lies”.
“And driven by shady political motives, President Trump used the UN podium to level unfounded accusations against China. China firmly opposes these smears. Such acts have again shown that unilateralism and bullying are the biggest threat to the world,” Wang said.
“Lies can in no way masquerade as truth. The world is fully aware of China’s record in containing COVID-19, and the people have their fair judgment,” he said, adding that the virus was common enemy of humankind.
“China is a victim of the virus and made its contribution to the global fight against the virus,” he said.
In his hard-hitting speech, Trump demanded that China, where the coronavirus emerged, be held accountable for failure to control the virus and for allowing it to spread across the world.
Denying allegations of delay in acting against the virus when it broke out in Wuhan in December last year, Wang said China reported the epidemic, identified the pathogen and shared its genome sequence with the world all at the earliest time possible.
“When the human-to-human transmission was confirmed, China immediately made the resolute decision to shut all exit routes from Wuhan. The most stringent closure was imposed on the exit routes from Wuhan and Hubei Province and traffic control was put in place,” he said.
When China closed the exit channels from Wuhan on January 23, only nine confirmed cases were identified outside China, of which only one was in the US, Wang said.
On January 31, the US suspended direct flights with China. And when the US closed its borders to all Chinese citizens on February 2, only a dozen of confirmed cases were reported in the US, he said.
“In repeatedly smearing China on COVID-19-related issues, the US is attempting to shift the blame for its bad handling of the virus onto others. This is totally futile,” he said.
Wang also defended the World Health Organisation (WHO) following Trump’s allegations that the UN health agency is virtually controlled by China.
“The US also arbitrarily attacked and pulled out of WHO. This has put global anti-epidemic cooperation in jeopardy, which will bring harm to people in the world and incur a heavy cost for the American people,” Wang said.
“What the US needs to do now is stop the political manipulation, stop labelling or politicising the virus, and join the rest of the international community in this common fight, rather than scapegoat or smear others,” he said.
Trump had also slammed China for dumping millions and millions of tonnes of plastic and trash into the oceans every year, overfishing other countries’ waters, destroying vast swaths of coral reef, and emitting more toxic mercury into the atmosphere than any country anywhere in the world.
“China’s carbon emissions are nearly twice what the US has, and it’s rising fast,” he said, adding that he withdrew from the “one-sided” Paris Climate Accord and last year America reduced its carbon emissions by more than any country in the agreement.
Refuting Trump’s allegations, Wang said that on climate change and environmental protection, China has actively fulfilled the international responsibilities consistent with its stage of development and national conditions, and carried out a host of policies and actions. “The outcomes achieved are widely recognized,” he said.
“We attained our 2020 climate action targets ahead of schedule, a major contribution to the global response to climate change,” he said.
“Non-fossil fuel now takes up nearly 15 per cent in China’s total energy consumption. China has 30 per cent of the world’s installed capacity of renewable energy, accounting for 44 per cent of the world increase. Its new energy vehicle stock is more than half the world’s total,” he said.
“China has contributed 25 per cent to the increased afforestation areas worldwide since 2000,” he said.
China will update and enhance its nationally determined contribution targets and introduce stronger policies and measures.
“We will strive for the peaking of CO2 emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. Such objectives are consistent with China’s vision of a vibrant, clean and beautiful world through joint efforts and its commitment to fostering a community with a shared future for humankind,” he said. PTI