Clash between China and the United States at the virtual forum of the UN

This UN-transmitted photo shows US President Donald Trump during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2020 in New York.

The form, the substance, everything opposed Donald Trump to Xi Jinping, Tuesday, September 22. Speaking from their respective countries in the virtual framework of the United Nations General Assembly, the two presidents clashed from a distance, confirming the fears expressed by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres . The latter had just feared a “Great fracture” between the “Two biggest economies”, announcer of“A new cold war”.

Almost absent from Mr. Trump’s first UN speech in 2017, China suffered a first regular attack from the President of the United States in 2019, when he attacked his business practices. This time he posed as a prosecutor from the third sentence of his speech by denouncing the “Chinese virus” at the root of the current global health and economic crisis.

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“We must hold responsible the nation which spread this scourge on the world: China”, he asserted. “In the early days of the virus, China locked down domestic travel while allowing planes to leave China and infect the world (…) The Chinese government and the World Health Organization [OMS], which is virtually controlled by China, falsely stated that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. They later falsely said that people without symptoms would not spread the virus. “

Donald Trump did not limit his indictment to the health crisis. While his mandate was marked by the removal of dozens of regulations protecting the environment, the President of the United States presented himself as a champion of ecology to better stigmatize the massive marine pollution for which China is responsible and the increase of Chinese carbon emissions. He opposed them to the American decline, without specifying that it was explained, in 2019, by the decline in the use of coal that he has long defended. He also claimed for his country a role of “Leader for human rights”, a phrase he rarely uses, as if to highlight Chinese authoritarianism.

“Unite our efforts”

The brevity of Donald Trump’s intervention, much shorter than that of his counterpart, also testified to his disdain for the assembly before which he was speaking. “If the United Nations is to be an effective organization, it must focus on the real problems of the world. This includes terrorism, oppression of women, forced labor, drug trafficking, human and sex trafficking, religious persecution and ethnic cleansing of religious minorities ”, he said, hinting that she was paying no attention today.

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