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Trump to UN: Blame China for the 'Plague'

Newser — Rob Quinn

This year's United Nations General Assembly meeting is being held virtually, with leaders delivering pre-recorded messages—and President Trump used his to slam the nation where the pandemic began.

"We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague on to the world—China," he said Tuesday, per the BBC. "In the earliest days of the virus China locked down travel domestically, while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world," he said.

"China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they canceled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes." Trump also said he would be back next year, the AP reports.

"When we gather in person, we will be in the midst of one of the greatest years in our history," he predicted.

China's President XI Jinping, who spoke soon after Trump, warned against a "clash of civilizations." He called for increased international cooperation, saying China has "no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country" and offering the UN extra funding to help develop a coronavirus vaccine, the Guardian reports.

Trump also attacked China's environmental record, saying those who target the US "while ignoring China’s rampant pollution" are only seeking to "punish America," not improve the environment.

In his remarks, Xi promised to improve emissions targets and achieve "carbon neutrality before 2060," reports the New York Times. The Chinese leader called for "a green recovery of the world economy in the post-COVID era."

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