Clashes between China, Russia, and the US happened at the United Nations General Assembly over responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic. Clashes took place about who politicized or mishandled the virus.
The comments at the U.N. Security Council’s ministerial meeting on the assembly’s sidelines came as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the lack of international cooperation in handling the “out-of-control” coronavirus.
According to the international news agency, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi centered multilateralism and referred to the countries opting out of making a Covid-19 vaccine a global public good available to people everywhere.
Wang said, “In such a challenging moment, major countries are even more duty-bound to put the future of humankind first, discard Cold War mentality and ideological bias and come together in the spirit of partnership to tide over the difficulties.”
He added about the US and European Union’s sanctions. He said, “Unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction needs to be opposed in order to safeguard the authority and sanctity of international law.”
On the contrary, Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov said the pandemic and its “common misfortune did not iron out interstate differences, but to the contrary deepened them.”
“In a whole number of countries there is a temptation to look abroad for those who are responsible for their own internal problems,” he said.
“And we see attempts on the part of individual countries to use the current situation in order to move forward their narrow interests of the moment in order to settle the score with the undesirable governments or geopolitical competitors.”
United States’ UN ambassador, Kelly Craft gave her remarks, “Shame on each of you. I am astonished and disgusted by the content of today’s discussion.”
She said some of the representatives were “squandering this opportunity for political purposes.”
“President Trump has made it very clear: We will do whatever is right, even if it’s unpopular, because, let me tell you what, this is not a popularity contest,” Craft said.
She referred to Trump’s speech Tuesday in which he had said that to chart a better future, “we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China”.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to hide the origins of this virus, minimize its danger, and suppress scientific cooperation (that) transformed a local epidemic into a global pandemic,” Craft said, adding that these actions “prove that not all member states are equally committed to public health, transparency, and their international obligations”.
Chinese UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said to the floor at the end of the meeting, “China resolutely opposes and rejects the baseless accusations by the United States”.
“Abusing the platform of the UN and its Security Council, the US has been spreading political virus and disinformation, and creating confrontation and division,” Zhang said.
“The US should understand that its failure in handling Covid-19 is totally its fault,” he said.