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War of Words U.S., and Russia and China at UN Security Council

Sept. 24, 2020 (EIRNS)—A meeting today of the UN Security Council on the topic “Post COVID-19 Global Governance,” resulted in a sharp war of words between Russia and China, on the one side, both represented by their respective foreign ministers, and Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the UN.

In his comments, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang YI, who was the first to speak, stressed the importance of UN-centered multilateralism and alluded to countries—including the U.S.—opting out of making a COVID-19 vaccine a global public good available to people everywhere. “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,” Wang said. He also criticized the sanctions being levied by the U.S. and the European Union against Russia and Syria, saying that such “long-arm jurisdiction” had to be opposed in order to preserve the sanctity of international law.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also lashed out at the COVID “blame-game” being carried out by the U.S. against China. “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.”

Craft, who was obviously out of her league in this contest, replied (with feigned indignation), “Shame on each of you. I am astonished and disgusted by the content of today’s discussion,” Craft said, and that other representatives were “squandering this opportunity for political purposes.” She asserted that President Donald Trump would do the right thing with regard to COVID, and then she reiterated the President’s baseless attacks on China, adding in her own diatribe about the Chinese Communist Party: “The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to hide the origins of this virus, minimize its danger, and suppress scientific cooperation, transformed a local epidemic into a global pandemic.” Craft went on to insist that such actions “prove that not all member states are equally committed to public health, transparency, and their international obligations.”

At the end of the meeting, Chinese UN Ambassador Zhang Jun asked for the floor and delivered a lengthy retort, saying “China resolutely opposes and rejects the baseless accusations by the United States.... Abusing the platform of the UN and its Security Council, the U.S. has been spreading political virus and disinformation, and creating confrontation and division,” Zhang said. “The U.S. should understand that its failure in handling COVID-19 is totally its fault.”

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