On 23 September, the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations exercised its right of reply, in accordance with the rules of the UN General Assembly, to the attack and slander against China made by the President of the United States at the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. The full text of the reply is as follows:
At the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, the United States attacked and slandered China in total disregard of basic facts. China expresses firm opposition.
The world is facing formidable challenges posed by COVID-19 and the serious threats of unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying practices. The world has come to a crossroads. At this moment, what is needed is unity, cooperation, and mutual trust, instead of confrontation and the spread of “political virus ”.
The novel coronavirus is the common enemy of humankind. It is yet another unknown virus from nature, which can break out among humans anytime anywhere. China is a victim of the virus and a contributor to the global fight against it. China reported the epidemic, identified the pathogen, and shared its genome sequence with the world all at the earliest time possible. When human-to-human transmission was confirmed, China immediately made the resolute decision to shut all exit routes from Wuhan. The most stringent closure was imposed on the exit routes from Wuhan City and Hubei Province, and traffic control was put in place. China’s customs authorities promptly halted, in accordance with law, overseas travels by Chinese people under four categories, namely confirmed cases, suspected cases, close contacts with the former two, and people with fevers. When China closed the exit channels from Wuhan on January 23, only nine confirmed cases were identified outside China, of which only one was in the United States. On January 31, the US suspended direct flights with China. When the US closed its borders to all Chinese citizens on February 2, only a dozen of confirmed cases were reported in the US. China’s epidemic response has been open and transparent every step of the way. The time line is clear, and the facts and data speak for themselves.
The United States, as a developed country with the most advanced medical technology in the world, has nonetheless become the most severely affected country in the world, with more than 6 million confirmed cases and 200,000 deaths. The reasons behind are thought-provoking. The smear campaign against China on COVID-19 is an attempt by the US to shift the blame for its own poor handling of the epidemic onto China. The US also arbitrarily attacked and pulled out of the WHO, putting global anti-epidemic cooperation in jeopardy, harming people around the world and incurring a heavy cost for its own people. What the US needs to do now is stop the political manipulation, stop labeling or politicizing the virus, focus on combating the virus at home, and support the UN and the WHO in playing their roles.
On climate change and environmental protection, China has actively fulfilled international responsibilities compatible with its own stage of development and national conditions, and adopted a host of policies and actions. The outcomes achieved are widely recognized. China attained its 2020 climate action targets two years ahead of schedule, a major contribution to the global response to climate change. Non-fossil fuels now take up nearly 15 percent in China’s total energy consumption. China has 30 percent of the world’s installed capacity of renewable energy, accounting for 44 percent of the world increase. Its new energy vehicle stock is more than half the world’s total. China has contributed 25 percent to the increased afforestation areas worldwide since 2000. President Xi Jinping just announced at the general debate of the 75th UN General Assembly that China will update and enhance its nationally determined contribution targets, introduce stronger policies and measures, and strive for the peaking of CO2 emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. Such objectives are consistent with China’s vision of a vibrant, clean and beautiful world through joint efforts and its commitment to fostering a community with a shared future for humankind.
China takes an active part in global climate governance. China is one of the first signatories of the UNFCCC and has contributed significantly to the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement and related implementation guidelines. Thanks to the concerted efforts by China and other parties, the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid produced a string of decisions that reaffirmed the commitment to multilateralism and the consensus among all parties on climate governance, laying the groundwork for follow-up negotiations.
The United States, as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases in cumulative terms, not only failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, but also pulled out of the Paris Agreement. It has rejected binding quantified emissions reduction targets for itself and refused to take even the minimum steps to protect the planet. By doing so, the US has completely disassociated itself from the global carbon emissions system and arrangements, and seriously held back such global processes as emissions reduction and green and low-carbon development. The United States is the world’s largest exporter of solid waste and a major consumer of plastics per capita. However, it has refused to ratify the Basel Convention and set obstacles for the global governance process on plastic waste. It has even shipped a huge amount of waste to developing countries, doing enormous harm to local and global environments. The US is not in any position to blame others.
Engaged in unilateralism and bullying practices, the US keeps withdrawing from international treaties and organizations, severely undermining the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law. The US flexes its muscles in many parts of the world, interfering grossly in the internal affairs of other countries and instigating “color revolutions”, thus jeopardizing regional peace and stability. The US, by reverting to the “cold war mentality” and creating ideological confrontation, is pushing the world into a dangerous situation. Pushing for anti-globalization, the US is erecting protectionist barriers and destabilizing the world supply and industrial chains. It is wielding the big stick of unilateral sanctions, frantically containing and suppressing foreign companies, and attempting to artificially cut off the international flow of capital, technology, product, industry and personnel. All these pose a serious threat to world peace and development.
We urge the US side to reflect on its own problems, change course and do more in the interest of world peace and development, rather than going further down the path of unilateralism and hegemony.