China sets 2060 goal to go carbon-neutral

China sets 2060 goal to go carbon-neutral

President Donald Trump demanded that the United Nations hold China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic as he defends his own handling of COVID-19 in America, where the death toll has surpassed 200,000.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a mild-mannered speech pledging contributions to a United Nations fund on the pandemic and warnig the world not to "politicise" the fight against the virus.

As tensions grow between China and the US, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the UN General Assembly that Beijing has "no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot one with any country". Here are some key quotes from his speech.

Calling the coronavirus the "China virus", he said the country had "unleashed this plague" onto the world.

"Seventy-five years after the end of World War Two and the founding of the United Nations, we are once again engaged in a great global struggle", he stated.

Trump's statement came shortly after he signed an executive order spelling out how the USA will enforce the "snapback" of sanctions.

"The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions", Trump declared, adding praise for his own administration's response to the virus. He also blamed the country and the World Health Organization, which he said "is virtually controlled by China", for declaring that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Trump and Xi, leaders of the world's two largest economies, laid out competing visions at a time when relations have plunged to their worst level in decades, with coronavirus tensions aggravating trade and technology disputes.

"Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease." he is expected to continue.
With the United States also working to end the war in Afghanistan, Trump said America is fulfilling our destiny as peacemaker. "Multilateralism is not an option but a necessity as we build back better for a more equal, more resilient and more sustainable world", said the document, which urged greater coordination within the worldwide community. Each is a priority in and of itself for China, but also an area where Beijing sees the opportunity to take up a leadership role amid the Trump administration's unwillingness to commit to multilateralism.

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed Tuesday that the world's largest greenhouse gas polluter will peak emissions in 2030 and go carbon neutral by 2060, in what environmentalists hailed as a major step forward.

Previously, China had only pledged to cut down on emissions per unit of GDP - which, given rapid economic growth, amounted to steadily increasing emissions.

But Xi reassured world leaders his country had no desire for "hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence".

Trump, who has rolled back or pared down hundreds of environmental regulations, said the USA had reduced its carbon emissions by more than any country in the agreement. Trump said that American prosperity is the bedrock of freedom and security all over the world. "We have to learn to live with the virus. As president, I have rejected the failed approaches of the past, and I am proudly putting America first, just as you should be putting your countries first".

In his speech, Xi announced plans to boost China's Paris climate accord target and called for a green revolution, just minutes after Trump blasted China for "rampant pollution".

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke of a foundational moment facing the UN - those who built the United Nations knew the value of unity, he noted, since they had lived through war and an earlier pandemic. "Our world can not afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture - each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities".

But scattered clues suggest some unease as China looks to manage its staggering - and staggeringly complex - military, economic and political rise while confronting the aggressive containment strategies of the world's current superpower, the United States, and its friends and allies. "We must avoid this at all costs".

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