Chinese state media gave unsurprisingly poor marks to President Donald Trump’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.
The state-run Global Times howled that “lies repeated a thousand times are still lies” and “U.S. accusations against China are completely baseless and cannot fool anyone” because Trump called on the world to hold China accountable for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Global Times dismissed Trump’s speech as mere “noise” that was “incompatible with the general atmosphere of the General Assembly”:
When the international community is going all out to fight COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus], the United States is spreading political virus. When the international community needs solidarity and cooperation the most, the United States is abusing the platform of the United Nations to provoke confrontation and create division. When the international community needs a strong UN, the United States is weakening the UN, the WHO and other UN bodies, and undermining the authority and effectiveness of the UN.
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. 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.
The editorial touted China’s support for the globalist religion of climate change and praised dictator Xi Jinping for his rhetorical commitment to “achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” forgetting to mention that what China is actually doing involves pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere and building dirty power plants across the Third World as quickly as it can.
The Global Times had no answer to Trump’s summary of China’s grim environmental record. As Trump said on Tuesday:
Every year, China dumps millions and millions of tons of plastic and trash into the oceans, overfishes other countries’ waters, destroys vast swaths of coral reef, and emits more toxic mercury into the atmosphere than any country anywhere in the world. China’s carbon emissions are nearly twice what the U.S. has, and it’s rising fast. By contrast, after I withdrew from the one-sided Paris Climate Accord, last year America reduced its carbon emissions by more than any country in the agreement.
Even if China paid more than lip service to climate change, its frantic efforts to change the subject from the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus and its suspiciously rapid spread beyond China’s borders would ring hollow. The Global Times screed had no answer to Trump’s key point that accountability is an essential component of responsibility.
The Global Times concluded by insisting that its critics should shut up and focus on dealing with the fallout from the pandemic China inflicted upon them:
Unilateralism 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 United States, 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.
As Trump pointed out in his speech to the General Assembly, “China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world,” and Beijing vigorously attacked travel bans in other countries while imposing its own without hesitation.
China’s insistence that all of its dubious territorial claims, human rights abuses, and acts of political repression are purely internal matters and no concern of the international community is quite unilateral as well. The challenge Trump placed before the United Nations is to thwart China’s menacing ambitions by treating multilateralism and global cooperation as something better than a racket to weaken and plunder the Western nations foolish enough to play along.