China firmly opposes US smears at UN, urges US to abandon political manipulations
China firmly opposes the United States' fabrication of lies and groundless accusations against China, motivated by shady political purposes, at the United Nations (UN) podium, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.
"Facts have proven once again that unilateralism and bullying are the most serious threats facing the world," Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing in response to a US leader's remarks about China at the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
"Lies can in no way replace truth. China's COVID-19 response efforts are clearly recorded, and people will make fair judgments," said Wang, adding China reported the epidemic, identified the pathogen and shared its genome sequence with the world all at the earliest possible time.
Wang said after confirming the human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus, China immediately made the resolute decision to shut all exit routes from Wuhan, and imposed the most stringent controls on the exit routes from Wuhan and Hubei Province.
Furthermore, China's customs authorities promptly halted, in accordance with the law, overseas travel by Chinese people belonging to four groups, namely confirmed cases, suspected cases, close contacts with the former two and people with a fever, he added.
Wang pointed out when China closed the exit channels from Wuhan on Jan. 23, only nine confirmed cases were identified outside China, of which only one was in the United States.
On Jan. 31, the United States suspended direct flights to and from China. When the United States closed its borders to all Chinese citizens on Feb. 2, only a dozen confirmed cases were reported in the United States, he said.
"China's COVID-19 response efforts have been open and transparent with a clear timeline. The facts and figures are an open book for all to see," said the spokesperson.
It is "utterly futile" for the United States to level groundless accusations against China concerning the pandemic in an attempt to shift blame for its mishandling of the virus onto others, Wang said.
The United States' arbitrary attacks on and withdrawal from the World Health Organization have jeopardized global anti-epidemic cooperation, which will bring harm to people around the world and see the American people incur a heavy cost, he added.
"It is imperative for the United States to cease its political manipulations and put an end to labeling or politicizing the virus, and join the rest of the international community in this common fight, rather than scapegoat or smear others," said Wang.
On climate change and environmental protection, Wang said the facts are also clear, noting China has actively fulfilled the international responsibilities consistent with its stage of development and national conditions, and carried out a host of policies and actions.
The spokesperson pointed out China has attained its 2020 climate action targets ahead of schedule, a major contribution to the global response to climate change. Non-fossil fuel now takes 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, and its new energy vehicle stock is more than half the world's total.
In addition, Wang said China has contributed 25 percent to the increased afforestation areas worldwide since 2000, noting China will update and enhance its nationally determined contribution targets, and introduce stronger policies and measures, to 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," said Wang.
"China takes an active part in global climate governance," Wang said, adding that as one of the first signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, China 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, Wang said.
In contrast, Wang said, 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, he added.
"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," said the spokesperson.
Wang said as the world's largest exporter of solid waste and a major consumer of plastics per capita, the US nevertheless has refused to ratify the Basel Convention and has set obstacles for the global governance process on plastic waste.
The US has even shipped a huge amount of waste to developing countries, doing enormous harm to the local and global environment, said Wang. "How is such a country in any position to blame China?"
"We urge the US to stop playing political games, abandon unilateralism, and live up to its due responsibility to the world," added the spokesperson.