Trump Says He Has Strong Message on China in UN Speech

U.S. President Donald Trump’s turn to address the U.N. General Assembly comes Tuesday with prerecorded remarks that he says include “a strong message on China.”Speaking to reporters Monday, Trump did not specify any of the topics he focused on with regard to China, but excerpts released Tuesday morning included his renewed criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus and Trump’s accusation that the World Health Organization is too close to China.Trump, who cut U.S. funding to the WHO, faults the U.N. agency and China for not doing enough to stop the outbreak in its early stages.“The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions,” Trump said, according to the White House.Trump’s administration has received sharp criticism for its own handling of the coronavirus, with the United States leading the world with about 6.9 million confirmed infections and 200,000 deaths.Trump’s speech includes a defense of the U.S. response, calling it “the most aggressive mobilization since the Second World War.”“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,” he said.The coronavirus pandemic has altered the annual event during which world leaders typically gather in New York and await their turn to address the assembly.  Trump said he recorded his address Monday afternoon.The speech excerpts also include references to the recent U.S. brokering of economic cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo, and the deals his administration helped negotiate to normalize Israeli relations with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.Trump also discusses the efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan, where U.S. forces have been deployed since 2001.  Plans are place to reduce the troop level there to 4,500 by November.“As we speak, the United States is also working to end the war in Afghanistan, and we are bringing our troops home.  America is fulfilling our destiny as peacemaker,” Trump said in the excerpted remarks.WATCH: UN General Assembly Speeches LIVE Sanctions against IranAnother topic is Iran, after the United States, in defiance of other U.N. Security Council members, declared it reimposed sanctions against Iran related to the 2015 international agreement on the country’s nuclear program.Other signatories of the Iran nuclear deal have dismissed the U.S. action, arguing that since the Trump administration withdrew from the pact in 2018 it does not have the standing to utilize the snapback sanctions mechanism the Security Council approved.More broadly, Trump’s address also includes the promotion of his preference to prioritize U.S. interests over multilateral efforts.“For decades, the same tired voices proposed the same failed solutions, pursuing global ambitions at the expense of their own people. But only when you take care of your own citizens, will you find a true basis for cooperation,” he said. 

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