Trump addresses US voters in UN speech: Global Times editorial

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Source: Global Times

Photo: AFP

The general debate of the 75th UN General Assembly opened Tuesday, with leaders of many countries giving video speeches. Among them, the address by US President Donald Trump is probably the one with the most personal characteristics. He used the discriminatory phrase “China virus” in his speech, and spent a large part of it attacking China in all aspects – from the epidemic fight, to ecology, and to fishery. Did this US president come to the UN for a quarrel?

Listening carefully to what Trump said, people will find that his audience is not the international community represented by the UN, but American voters that he is most anxious to persuade. His remarks demanding that China be held accountable for the epidemic were too vulgar on the UN stage, and full of loopholes. His speech sounded like nothing but a farce to the diplomats. But the US president keen on reelection doesn’t care how the outside world reacts to his speech. The words he used are those most likely to fool the American public. For Trump, the significance of the UN stage is that it can be used in his reelection campaign.

About the same time he delivered the video address, the COVID-19 death toll in the US was surpassing 200,000. Of course, Trump didn’t mention this, but boasted that three US vaccines are in Phase-III trials, the last stage in vaccine development and testing. To summarize his speech, he showed off his governing achievements, while covering up his administration’s severe dereliction of duty and failure to fight the epidemic by launching attacks on China. He also diluted the international community’s dissatisfaction with the US’ infamous record, such as withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.

The US is the biggest destroyer of the existing international system and rules, as seen from Trump’s rude UN speech. Washington talked about world peace, but it has created unprecedented tensions in major power relations since the end of the Cold War, and is undisguised in its attempt to lead China-US relations into a new cold war. Sound relations between major powers are the cornerstone of world peace.

Trump’s speech jeopardized the atmosphere of this UN General Assembly, and threw the assembly’s theme astray. His hysterical attack on China violated the diplomatic etiquette a top leader is supposed to have. This means Washington elites do not take the UN into consideration and pay no heed to diplomacy. They believe power is everything. They want the agenda of the international community to serve US politics, and the UN General Assembly be turned into Trump’s presidential campaign.

The US is in a period when its global image has fallen to its lowest. When Trump appeared in the video, many people probably thought of the top ranking of the US in terms of those infected with and died from the novel coronavirus. This is the most notable label the US has now.

Moreover, racial conflicts in the US are raging. Partisan fights have resulted in social division. The US is becoming bossier and bossier. This is the general impression people have of today’s US.

China stresses “doing its own things well.” In fact, the US should take this as its motto too. The US has performed so poorly in handling domestic affairs that reforms could barely be advanced. It has to pass the buck to digest the domestic anger. This is the sign of stagnation and the decline of a major power. It’s hoped the US government will not go further in this direction, which will only end up deceiving itself.

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