China rejects US’ ‘baseless’ accusations: Chinese envoy

Beijing has firmly rejected baseless accusations heaped on by the US during the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, and China’s UN envoy has said it will exercise its right of reply in accordance with the rules of the assembly to state its solemn position.

“The US noise is incompatible with the general atmosphere of the General Assembly,” said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the UN, the Xinhua news agency reported.

“When the international community is going all out to fight Covid-19, the US is spreading political virus. When the international community needs solidarity and cooperation the most, the US is abusing the platform of the United Nations to provoke confrontation and create division.

“When the international community needs a strong UN, the US is weakening the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other UN bodies, and undermining the authority and effectiveness of the UN,” Zhang said on Tuesday.

“In the past two days, more than 120 leaders, president of the General Assembly, and secretary-general of the United Nations made statements in the august hall of the General Assembly. Overwhelming majority of countries called for efforts to uphold multilateralism, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and jointly tackle global challenges,” he said.

This is unequivocal rejection of unilateralism and bullying practices, which represents the consensus of the international community and the wish of people across the world, Zhang added.

“Lies repeated a thousand times are still lies. US accusations against China are completely baseless and cannot fool anyone,” said the envoy.

“China was the first to be hit by the outbreak of Covid-19. China made great efforts and enormous sacrifice in response, and managed to bring the situation under control within a short period of time. China, with an open, transparent, and responsible attitude, has been giving updates and sharing experience with the WHO and other countries from the very beginning and providing active assistance to many countries, including the US,” Zhang said.

Noting China’s contribution to the fight against the pandemic is highly recognized and commended by the international community, Zhang said what is happening in the US is a “complete failure”.

“The US, with the most advanced medical technology and medical system in the world, has more confirmed cases and lost lives than any other country. While other countries that were hit by Covid-19 the same time as the United States have effectively contained the virus, the situation in the US remains unabated. The reason is a thought-provoking one,” said the envoy.

In terms of combating climate change and protecting the environment, Zhang said that “China’s carbon dioxide emission in 2018 was 45.8 per cent lower than 2005, meeting the emission reduction target two years ahead of schedule.”

“President Xi announced during his speech that China aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, demonstrating China’s strong resolve and commitment and setting a role model for others,” Zhang said.

China has earnestly fulfilled its obligations under the Basel Convention, and made positive contributions to global environmental governance, the envoy said.

“In contrast, the US, as the country with the largest cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases in the world, hasn’t ratified the Kyoto Protocol and has pulled out of the Paris Agreement. It has also dissociated itself from the global system and arrangement of carbon emissions, seriously hindered the global process of emission reduction and green development,” said Zhang.

“At the same time, as the world’s largest exporter of solid waste and a major country of per capita plastic consumption, the US refuses to ratify the Basel Convention and has transferred a lot of waste to developing countries. It is clear who wilfully disregards the global environment and the health of people around the world,” said the envoy.

Unilateralism, Zhang said, runs against the common views and interests of the international community.

“It is a dead end and leading nowhere. The US provocation of confrontation at the United Nations for its own interests is unpopular and doomed to fail. For the US, the most urgent task is to contain the virus, save lives, and fix its own problems. Some US politicians’ attempt of blame-shifting and scapegoating will not get back the time lost or solve any problem. It is time that they wake up from their self-created illusions and fictions,” said the envoy.