China on Thursday lashed out at the United States at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the coronavirus, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough!”
Two days after President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, its ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, strongly criticized the US role in global affairs.
“I must say, enough is enough! You have created enough troubles for the world already,” he told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference by several heads of state.
“The US has nearly seven million confirmed cases and over 200,000 deaths by now. With the most advanced medical technologies and system in the world, why has the US turned out to have the most confirmed cases and fatalities?” he asked in English.
“If someone should be held accountable, it should be a few US politicians themselves.”
Using a phrase often told by US leaders to China, Zhang said, “The US should understand that a major power should behave like a major power.”
The United States “is completely isolated,” he said in remarks enthusiastically backed by his Russian counterpart.
Speaking earlier in the session, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, voiced anger at the tone.
“You know, shame on each of you. I am astonished and I am disgusted by the content of today’s discussion,” Craft said.
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“I am actually really quite ashamed of this Council — members of the Council who took this opportunity to focus on political grudges rather than the critical issue at hand. My goodness.”
Trump in his speech Tuesday had demanded action against China for spreading the “plague” of Covid-19 to the world.
China suppressed news of the respiratory disease when it first emerged last year in Wuhan and initial advice played down the risks of transmission.
China’s communist leaders have more recently tried to transform the narrative into one of the country’s success in stopping the virus.
Trump’s response to the pandemic — which he has provocatively called the “China virus” — has emerged as a major political issue as he seeks a new term in the November 3 election.