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Chinese envoy fights back at US accusations in Security Council

联合国安理会中国代表怒怼美国

2020-09-25 浏览


China's permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, on Thursday fought back at US accusations against China over the handling of COVID-19.

At a summit-level debate on "global governance after COVID-19," the US permanent representative to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, repeated President Donald Trump's demand to hold China accountable for the spread of the virus.

In response, Zhang said Thursday's meeting was a moment for solidarity and cooperation, as reflected by the appeals of the vast majority of Security Council members.

"Regrettably, we once again heard noises from the US that are so at odds with the atmosphere of the meeting. China resolutely opposes and rejects the baseless accusations by the US," said Zhang.

For quite a while, some US politicians have been obsessed with attacking other countries and UN bodies. Abusing the platform of the United Nations and its Security Council, the United States has been spreading "political virus" and disinformation, and creating confrontation and division, he said.

Such practice cannot defeat the virus. On the contrary, it has seriously disrupted the joint efforts of the international community to fight the pandemic, he said.

"I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already," said Zhang.

China was the first to be hit by the outbreak of COVID-19. The timeline of China's response is clear. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have united together in the fight against the virus. China's great efforts and sacrifice are clear to all. China's contribution to the global battle against the pandemic is also well recognized, he said.

The United States should understand that its failure in handling COVID-19 is totally its own fault, said Zhang.

The United States has nearly 7 million confirmed cases and over 200,000 deaths by now, he noted.

"With the most advanced medical technologies and system in the world, why the US has turned out to have the most confirmed cases and fatalities? Many countries which were hit by the pandemic around the same time have already contained the virus, and why the US has failed to do so? According to the official data of the US, its minority groups register a higher rate — disproportionate with their population — of infection and fatality, why? What is the fundamental cause?" he asked.

Before pointing fingers at others, perhaps the US politicians need to give honest answers to these questions. If someone should be held accountable, it should be a few US politicians themselves, said Zhang.

The United States should understand that blaming others will not solve its own problems. All countries have their problems along the way of development. And these problems should first and foremost be solved through one's own efforts. By shifting responsibilities, or "lying, cheating, stealing," one will not solve any problem, but only drift further down the wrong direction, he said.

"The US is now standing against the international community, and completely isolated. It's time to wake up," said Zhang.

What the United States needs to do is stop the political manipulation, stop labeling or politicizing the virus, focus on combatting the virus at home, and support the United Nations and the World Health Organization in playing their roles, he said.

"The US should understand that a major power should behave like a major power. When the world is facing many daunting challenges, major countries should shoulder special responsibilities," said Zhang.

The United States always portrays itself as a "force for good," and vows to play a leading role in global affairs. China, like many other countries, welcomes such efforts of the United States to make contributions to world peace and progress of humanity, he said.

To be a good leader, one must lead by example. It should be a model in following international law and fulfilling international obligations. It should take up the responsibilities, rather than pursue exceptionalism, withdraw from international institutions and treaties at will, and disassociate itself from global governance, he said.

To be a good leader, one must promote international cooperation. It should respect and unite all, and value good faith and equality, rather than forcefully impose sanctions, create division and confrontation, bully others, and lead the world to conflicts or even wars, he said.

To be a good leader, one must make tangible contributions to humanity. It should promote cooperation against global challenges, provide more global public goods, adopt a people-centered approach, and lead the world toward a better future, rather than always put its own interests first, seek monopoly, or even use national power to curb the development and technology progress of other countries, he said.

"We hope the US, as the most powerful country in the world, will return to the right track of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and shoulder its due responsibility for world peace and prosperity," said Zhang.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Chinese mainland reports 8 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

中国大陆今日报告8例确诊病例,均为输入型病例

2020-09-25 浏览


No new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday across the Chinese mainland, the National Health Commission said on Friday.

Meanwhile, eight confirmed COVID-19 cases arriving from outside the mainland were reported, the commission said in its daily report.

One suspected COVID-19 case from outside the mainland was reported in Shanghai, and no new deaths related to the disease were reported, the commission said.

On Thursday, nine COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery on the Chinese mainland.

By the end of Thursday, a total of 2,773 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Of them, 2,607 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 166 remained hospitalized, with three in severe condition. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.

As of Thursday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 85,322, including the 166 patients still being treated.

Altogether 80,522 patients had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.

There was one suspected COVID-19 case on the mainland, while 6,911 close contacts were still under medical observation after 468 were discharged Thursday, according to the commission.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



TikTok applies for Chinese tech license to secure deal

字节跳动公司申请中国技术出口许可

2020-09-25 浏览


TikTok’s owner said on Thursday it has applied for a Chinese technology export license as it tries to complete a deal with Oracle and Walmart to keep the video app operating in the United States.

ByteDance submitted the application to Beijing’s municipal commerce bureau and is awaiting a decision, it said on its Toutiao online news platform on Thursday, without referring to ongoing talks over its US operations.

The application comes about a month after China revised its list of technologies subject to export bans or restrictions, in a manner which experts said gave the government a say over any TikTok deal. It can take up to 30 days to obtain preliminary approval to export such technology.

Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday that the application has been received and would be handled in accordance with relevant regulations and procedures.

ByteDance has said its deal with Oracle and Walmart will see the creation of a standalone US company and does not involve any transfer of technology, though Oracle will be able to inspect TikTok US source code.

It has also said the deal needs approval from both China and the United States.

Chinese foreign ministry said China will “take necessary measures” to safeguard its companies. A ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, called on Washington to “respect the principles of market economy and fair competition” and “provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment” for foreign companies.

TikTok has been embroiled in the latest US restrictions on Chinese tech companies. On August 6, the Trump administration announced a ban on US transactions with TikTok starting September 20. The Department of Commerce later delayed the ban for a week until September 27 after ByteDance, Walmart and Oracle stuck the deal.

Trump signed another executive order on August 14 giving ByteDance 90 days to relinquish ownership of TikTok.

The White House says the video service is a security risk because the personal information of its millions of US users could be handed over to Chinese authorities.

It has offered no specifics to substantiate that charge and the company has denied the accusations.

TikTok asked a US judge on Wednesday to block an order from Trump’s administration that would require Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to remove its short video-sharing app for new downloads from Sunday.

In its filing in federal court in the District of Columbia, TikTok said Trump’s August 6 executive order is unlawful. So are resulting commerce department prohibitions that aim to kick TikTok out of US app stores and, in November, essentially shut it down in the US.

TikTok said the restrictions “were not motivated by a genuine national security concern, but rather by political considerations relating to the upcoming general election.”

TikTok said if the order is not blocked “hundreds of millions of Americans who have not yet downloaded TikTok will be shut out of this large and diverse online community — six weeks before a national election.”

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang said China supports companies’ use of relevant legal weapons to uphold their rights.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Saudi plans slow return for umrah pilgrimage

沙特计划缓慢恢复乌姆拉朝圣

2020-09-24 浏览


Saudi Arabia will gradually resume the year-round umrah pilgrimage for Muslims from October 4, the interior ministry said on Tuesday, seven months after it was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The kingdom had suspended the umrah in March and later scaled back the annual hajj in a blow to millions of pilgrims around the world amid fears that the coronavirus could spread to Islam’s holiest sites.

In the first stage, “6,000 citizens and residents within the kingdom will be allowed to perform the umrah per day from October 4,” the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Visitors from outside the kingdom will be permitted from November 1, when umrah’s capacity will be raised to 20,000 pilgrims per day.

The umrah, which refers to the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of year, usually attracts millions of Muslims from across the globe each year.

The ministry said umrah would be allowed to resume at full “natural capacity” once the threat of the pandemic is eliminated.

The decision to resume umrah was in response to the “aspirations of Muslims home and abroad” to perform the ritual and visit the holy sites, the ministry added.

The decision comes after the kingdom organized the smallest hajj in modern history in late July, with only about 10,000 Muslims allowed to take part — a far cry from the 2.5 million who participated last year.

Health authorities said no coronavirus cases were reported at the holy sites during the hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime.

Hajj pilgrims circled the sacred Kaaba — a cubic structure inside Mecca’s Grand Mosque toward which Muslims around the world pray — along socially distant paths.

The pilgrims were also subjected to regular temperature checks and required to go into mandatory quarantine after the ritual.

King Salman, the kingdom’s 84-year-old ruler, said holding the hajj in the shadow of the pandemic required “double efforts” by Saudi authorities.

The hajj and umrah pilgrimages are a massive logistical challenge, with colossal crowds cramming into relatively small holy sites, making them vulnerable to contagion.

The kingdom has sought to contain a spike in infections.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Chinese President Xi, UN chief hold videoconference

中国主席习近平和联合国秘书长主持视频会议

2020-09-24 浏览


Chinese President Xi Jinping and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a videoconference on Wednesday.

Xi urged the international community to reaffirm their support for multilateralism and abiding commitment to the UN Charter.

Noting that COVID-19 is still ravaging the world, Xi said China firmly supports the key leadership of the UN system, especially the World Health Organization, in battling the pandemic.

China also firmly supports the UN system in strengthening international cooperation in COVID-19 prevention and containment, Xi added.

The Chinese president said China will honor its commitment to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good after putting them into use following the completion of vaccine development.

China will contribute to the vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries, Xi said.

Noting the emergence of many new problems amid the pandemic, Xi said these problems are in a way or another related to peace and development.

He said the UN Security Council should play the role of a collective security mechanism and the Security Council permanent members should play an exemplary role.

Pursuing unilateralism and seeking hegemony are unpopular and will surely be rejected, he added.

Xi said the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the problems of maladaptation and mismatch in the global governance system. However, all parties should think about how to improve it, instead of tearing it down and setting up another one.

In the world, there is only one system, namely the UN-centered international system, and only one set of rules — the basic norms of international relations based on the UN Charter, Xi said.

"China never pursues ideological confrontation, advocates 'decoupling' or seeks hegemony," Xi said.

He also said China will not sit idly by and allow its national sovereignty, dignity and development space to be undermined. Instead, China will firmly safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and uphold international equity and justice.

The Chinese president called on all countries to rise above differences between countries, nationalities, cultures and ideologies to promote building a community with a shared future for humanity.

During the videoconference, Guterres expressed his gratitude over China's consistent and firm support for multilateralism and the UN.

Guterres highly commended a series of important initiatives and measures Xi announced at the UN General Assembly in spheres of practicing multilateralism, coping with climate change and promoting sustainable development.

He also expressed his support for China's efforts to push for jointly building a Silk Road of Green Development.

Guterres said the UN supports China in deepening cooperation with Africa and developing countries, and the UN hopes to continue strengthening cooperation with China and expects China to play a leading role.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Chinese mainland reports 7 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

中国今日报告新增7例确诊病例,均为输入型病例

2020-09-24 浏览


No new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported on Wednesday across the Chinese mainland, the National Health Commission said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, seven confirmed COVID-19 cases arriving from outside the mainland were reported, the commission said in its daily report.

No new suspected COVID-19 cases or new deaths related to the disease were reported, the commission said.

On Wednesday, eight COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery on the Chinese mainland.

By the end of Wednesday, a total of 2,765 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Of them, 2,598 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 167 remained hospitalized, with three in severe condition. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.

As of Wednesday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 85,314, including the 167 patients still being treated.

Altogether 80,513 patients had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.

There was no suspected COVID-19 case on the mainland, while 6,865 close contacts were still under medical observation after 583 were discharged Wednesday, according to the commission.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Xi announces China aims to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060

习近平称争取2060年达成碳中和目标

2020-09-23 浏览


China aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday.

Xi made the remarks at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video.

"China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures," he said.

He noted that the Paris Agreement on climate change charts the course for the world to transition to green and low-carbon development.

"It outlines the minimum steps to be taken to protect the Earth, our shared homeland, and all countries must take decisive steps to honor this agreement," he said.

Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature and go down the beaten path of extracting resources without investing in conservation, pursuing development at the expense of protection, and exploiting resources without restoration, Xi said.

Xi called on all countries to pursue innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all, seize the historic opportunities presented by the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, and achieve a green recovery of the world economy in the post-COVID era.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



US passes 200,000 virus deaths, weeks before election

大选之前美国新冠死亡病例超20万

2020-09-23 浏览


The United States registered its 200,000th death from the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump will stay in office.

According to a rolling tally by Johns Hopkins University, 200,005 Americans have died and 6.86 million have been confirmed infected by the novel coronavirus.

The US has had the world's highest official death toll for months, ahead of Brazil and India, with 137,272 and 88,935 deaths, respectively.

Overall, the US accounts for 4 percent of the world's population and 20 percent of its recorded coronavirus deaths.

Critics say the statistics expose the Trump administration's failure to meet its sternest test ahead of the November 3 election.

"Due to Donald Trump's lies and incompetence in the past six months, (we) have seen one of the gravest losses of American life in history," his Democratic rival Joe Biden said on Monday.

"With this crisis that required serious presidential leadership, he just wasn't up to it. He froze... and America has paid the worst price of any nation in the world."

While insisting that the United States is already "rounding the corner," Trump has high hopes that the swift approval of a COVID-19 vaccine will boost his reelection chances.

"We will distribute a vaccine, we will defeat the virus, we will end the pandemic, and we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation and peace," Trump said in a recorded message to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Trump has previously stated that by April of next year, most Americans who want to be immunized will have a vaccine.

But most experts argue that betting on vaccines is not a viable strategy.

'Failed national response'

Without adhering to masks, distancing and contact-tracing, and without ramping up testing, tens of thousands more could still die before life returns to normal in the US.

"COVID will be the third leading cause of death this year in the US," tweeted Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Barack Obama.

"The staggering death toll from the virus is a reflection of a failed national response, but it's not too late to turn it around."

Only the number of people who died from heart disease and cancer will be higher.

It's likely that the US actually crossed 200,000 deaths in July, said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Institute, citing the excess overall mortality rate.

The initial lack of tests led to an undercount of the virus' toll.

"We are the outlier to have been caught totally flat-footed with no testing, and just not learning from mistakes," Topol said.

"We never got adequate suppression, and yet we're opening everything and trying to make believe that everything is just great."

Adoption of public health measures remains mixed across the US.

In many cities, students have gone back to school virtually, the indoor areas of bars and restaurants remain closed, and mask use is up.

But hotspots are still flaring up, currently in the Midwest and on college campuses that returned to in-person learning.

Critics say Trump abdicated responsibility and left it to the state governors to deal with the crisis and decide on lockdowns.

"We had a crazy quilt of responses across the country that totally confused the average person," said William Schaffner, a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University.

"We needed a unified, coherent, strong, national response."

The US health system will be further tested this winter, said Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina.

Anticipating a "twindemic" of coronavirus and flu, officials are stocking up on a record number of flu vaccines.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



General Debate of UN General Assembly opens

联合国大会开幕

2020-09-23 浏览


The General Debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Tuesday with the theme of "The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism — confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action."

Volkan Bozkir, president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, presided over the opening of the debate.

In his opening remarks, he called on world leaders to reaffirm multilateralism in face of the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. He also called for the strengthening of UN agencies, including the World Health Organization.

"Rarely has the whole of humanity faced such an imminent and common threat. Today, we must leave our differences and disagreements aside. Today, we must renew our collective commitment to multilateralism. Today, we must combine our efforts to address this global problem and we must make sure that no one is left behind," he said.

Multilateralism is essential to fulfilling the core mandates of the United Nations prescribed in its Charter, said Bozkir. "To do that, we must continue to seek ways, in order to establish and consolidate trust and cohesion, among members, groups of countries and other stakeholders."

He warned that the world is seeing rising levels of mistrust and rivalry between major powers.

International institutions succeed when they manage to mediate such tensions. The United Nations was born with this in mind, he said. "It is in the interests of the world, our economies and our people that, these tensions are managed and do not spiral out of control. The forum provided by the UN is critical to reinforce cooperation and consensus."

Bozkir named multilateralism, the humanitarian agenda of the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and gender equality as his priority in his one-year tenure, and called for support from member states.

"As we commemorate the UN's 75th anniversary, we must recommit to and strengthen multilateralism and acknowledge its achievements. The UN is the world's foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries, maintain international peace and security, promote sustainable and inclusive development and protect human rights."

He promised to advance the UN humanitarian agenda, in view of the unprecedented level of humanitarian needs, which are caused by prolonged and new conflicts, as well as natural disasters around the world. "Our efforts must ensure that the most vulnerable are protected and able to live in dignity, as set out in the UN Charter."

The Sustainable Development Goals are the most transformative set of objectives, yet they cannot be achieved without strengthened global partnership, he said. "We must ensure that our efforts to recover from the pandemic are fully aligned with the implementation of the SDGs."

Gender inequality remains deeply entrenched in many societies. Women often lack access to decent work, equal pay, quality education and adequate health care. They suffer from violence and discrimination and are often under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes, he noted.

"As we recover from the pandemic, we must build back better, to improve the lives of women and girls. We must renew our commitment to protect women's rights and make women's participation in peace, security and humanitarian action meaningful and sustained."

As this General Assembly session marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Bozkir called on member states to draw strength from the founders of the world organization, who demonstrated fortitude at a time of crisis.

"They chose to trust one another and unite in pursuit of a better world. Together, we have overcome adversity and challenges. Let us draw strength from those who have persevered in the past. When we have worked together, humanity has prevailed," he said. "This Assembly has the power to create a better world for all."

This year, world leaders are unable to travel to New York for the high-level week due to COVID-19. Instead, their pre-recorded statements are played in the General Assembly Hall. While the hall can hold some 2,500 people, only about 200 delegates are allowed to be physically present.

In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "In a world turned upside down, this General Assembly Hall is among the strangest sights of all. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our annual meeting beyond recognition. But it has made it more important than ever."

He described COVID-19 as a "fifth horseman" that endangers humanity's common future besides the "four horsemen" — the highest global geostrategic tensions in years, an existential climate crisis, deep and growing global mistrust, and the dark side of the digital world.

"We face simultaneously an epochal health crisis, the biggest economic calamity and job losses since the Great Depression, and dangerous new threats to human rights," he said.

Guterres called for unity of the member states.

"We cannot respond to this crisis by going back to what was or withdrawing into national shells. To overcome today's fragilities and challenges, we need more international cooperation, not less; strengthened multilateral institutions, not a retreat from them; better global governance, not a chaotic free-for-all."

"Today, we face our own 1945 moment. The pandemic is a crisis unlike any we have ever seen. But it is also the kind of crisis that we will see in different forms again and again. COVID-19 is not only a wake-up call, it is a dress rehearsal for the world of challenges to come," he said.

He asked member states to move forward with humility, unity and solidarity, and to be guided by science and tethered to reality.

"As we have seen, when countries go in their own direction, the virus goes in every direction," he said, adding that populism and nationalism have failed.

"In an interconnected world, it is high time to recognize a simple truth: solidarity is self-interest. If we fail to grasp that fact, everyone loses."

This year's General Debate in its new format attracts more heads of state and government to attend virtually. According to the provisional list of speakers provided by the United Nations, some 170 heads of state and government are going to make pre-recorded statements. Last year, 82 heads of state and 43 heads of government spoke from the dark green marble podium.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Xi expounds on UN's role in post-COVID era, opposing unilateralism, 'boss of world'

习近平陈述抗疫时期联合国的角色,反对单边主义和霸权主义

2020-09-22 浏览


Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday shared his thoughts on the role of the United Nations in the post-COVID era, opposing unilateralism, bullying or any country acting like "boss of the world."

Xi made the comments at a high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN.

Stressing that the UN must stand firm for justice, Xi said no country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others, or keep advantages in development all to itself.

"Even less should one be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon, bully or boss of the world," Xi said.

He said it is imperative that the representation and voice of developing countries be increased so that the UN could be more balanced in reflecting the interests and wishes of the majority of countries in the world.

Stressing that the UN must uphold the rule of law, Xi said relations among countries and coordination of their interests must only be based on rules and institutions.

"They must not be lorded over by those who wave a strong fist at others," Xi said.

Big countries should lead by example in advocating and upholding the international rule of law and in honoring their commitments, he added.

"There must be no practice of exceptionalism or double standards. Nor should international law be distorted and used as a pretext to undermine other countries' legitimate rights and interests or world peace and stability," Xi said.

The Chinese president said the UN must promote cooperation, noting that "Cold War mentality, ideological lines or zero-sum game are no solution to a country's own problems, still less an answer to mankind's common challenges."

"What we need to do is to replace conflict with dialogue, coercion with consultation and zero-sum with win-win," he added.

The Chinese president also said that the UN must focus on real action.

"To put into practice the principle of multilateralism, we must act, not just talk," Xi said. "There must be a cure, not just a therapy."

The UN should aim at problem solving and move toward tangible outcomes as it advances security, development and human rights in parallel, he added.

In particular, he said priority should be given to addressing non-traditional security challenges such as public health.

At the meeting, Xi lauded UN's role in 75 years, saying the organization has traveled an extraordinary journey.

He said the 75 years has seen dramatic progress in human society and profound changes in the international situation, and has been a period of rapid development of multilateralism.

Xi said China firmly defends the central role of the UN in international affairs.

China firmly upholds the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, he said.

"Let us renew our firm commitment to multilateralism, work to promote a community with a shared future for mankind," Xi said before concluding his remarks.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



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