China’s ambassador to the United Nations hit out at the United States on Tuesday, calling the country's handling of the coronavirus pandemic “a complete failure.”
In a news conference held at the Chinese Mission in New York, Zhang Jun said: “If we do have to hold anyone accountable, it should be the United States held accountable for losing so many lives with their irresponsible behavior.”
He also defended his own country’s response to the crisis, which he says is now under control after “great effort and enormous sacrifice.”
The news conference was held solely in response to US President Donald Trump’s attack on China at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Tuesday.
During his pre-recorded address to the UNGA, Trump said the United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions. He accused the country of spreading the virus and falsely declaring that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.
Zhang called Trump’s accusations lies.
“Let me make it very clear that lies are lies -- even though lies can be repeated 1,000 times, they remain lies,” said Zhang, adding that attempts to shift blame would not help the US solve its own problems. “It’s really time for some US politicians to wake up from their self-created illusions or fictions instead of going further along the wrong direction. They may wish to be great, but to be great you have to behave like a leader,” Zhang said.
The ambassador also criticized the US’ health care system, saying: “This is the country with the most advanced medical system with the most advanced medical technology but still they have ranked #1 in confirmed cases and lost lives."
Ambassador Zhang said China will exercise its right of reply in accordance with the rules of the General Assembly, which means a China delegate will address the session at some point this week to officially respond to Trump’s speech.
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