Donald Trump attacks China, Iran and Venezuela in speech at 74th UNGA session, vows to protect America's borders

  • US president Donald Trump delivered his third address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York

  • Trump touched upon topics of trade, defence, immigration in an over 30-minute speech

  • The meeting comes amid simmering tension in West Asia over recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that the US believes were orchestrated by Iran

US president Donald Trump delivered his third address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York. Speaking at the 74th UNGA session to be held from 24 till 30 September, Trump touched upon topics of trade, defence, immigration in an over 30-minute speech.

The meeting comes amid simmering tension in West Asia over recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that the US believes were orchestrated by Iran.

 Donald Trump attacks China, Iran and Venezuela in speech at 74th UNGA session, vows to protect Americas borders

US President Donald Trump addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. AP

“The future belongs to patriots, not globalists”

Trump began his speech by expressing pride in US’ independence and liberty. “The future does not belong to globalists, it belongs to patriots, to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbours and honour the differences that make each country special and unique,” he said. Addressing other world leaders, Trump said that wise leaders put the future of their own people and country first.

The president said that the US has become the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and is the most powerful nation. He highlighted the "over $2.5 trillion" expenditure on military since he took office. He added that attempts are being made to rectify economical balance.

“Looking forward to trade deal with Britain”

In a warning to China, Trump said that US wants free, reciprocal trade. “In 2001, China was admitted to the World Trade Organisation. Our leaders then argued that this decision would compel China to liberalise its economy and strengthen protections to provide things that were unacceptable to us,” he said.

He went on to say that decades later, China proved this theory wrong and embraced an economic model dependent on “massive market barriers, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers and theft of intellectual property”.

“US lost 60,000 factories after China entered WTO. This is happening to other countries across the globe. WTO needs drastic change given China's actions on trade,” said Trump.

Trump said "hopefully" the US and China will strike a fair deal, but he won't accept anything less. "I will not accept a bad deal for the American people," he vowed. The president said China's "abuses" have been "ignored" or "encouraged" for years.

He also said that the US is working closely with British prime minister Boris Johnson on a “magnificent trade deal”.

On Iran and North Korea

Trump said that sanctions on Iran will be tightened and it must stop threatening other nations. He urged other nations to join the US in cutting the nation off financially. "All nations have a duty to act," Trump said. "No responsible government should subsidise Iran's bloodlust. As long as Iran's menacing behaviour continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened," he added. He hit out at Iran’s regime of “death and destruction”.

He also said that North Korea must denuclearise. "America knows while anyone can make war, the only the most courageous can choose peace for the same reason we have pursued bold diplomacy on the Korean peninsula," he said. "I've told Kim Jong-un, what I truly believe, that like Iran, his country is full of untapped potential. To realise that promise, North Korea must denuclearise."

The US president spoke in favour of Hong Kong's “democratic ways of life” and urged China to protect the same.

Trump vows to protect borders 

Trump condemned open border policies as "cruel and evil" and said that all nations have the "absolute right" to protect their borders. Addressing the issue of illegal immigration, he said, "If you make it here, you will not be allowed in. You will be promptly returned home. You will not be released into our country, as long as I am President of the United States, we will enforce our laws and protect our borders."

He said undermining border security is "undermining human rights and dignity”. “Each of you (open-border activists) has the absolute right to protect your borders. And so, of course, does our country," he said in his address. The sovereignty and security of all nations is threatened by uncontrolled migration and loose border controls, Trump said.

Nicolas Maduro is a “Cuban puppet”

Trump took a shot at Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro in his speech, calling him a "dictator" and a "Cuban puppet”. “The dictator Maduro is a Cuban puppet, protected by Cuban bodyguards, hiding from his own people while Cuba plunders Venezuela's oil wealth to sustain its own corrupt, Communist rule," he said.

As Trump began his speech, the Venezuelan delegate opened a book and began reading it.

The president said the US is watching the Venezuela situation "very closely”. He also criticised the socialist ideology in the nation, adding that it only benefits the ruling class, adding that America will never be a socialist country. “We are committed to support those who live under brutal pressure in countries such as in Cuba and Venezuela,” he said.

On LGBTQ rights and women

The president said the US is working with other nations to stop criminalising homosexuality. “As we defend American values, we affirm the right of all people to live in dignity. We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail or execute individuals based upon sexual orientation," Trump said.

He also said the US is "championing the role of women in our societies”. "Nations which empower women are much wealthier, safer and much more politically stable. It's therefore vital, not only to a nation's prosperity, but also is vital to its national security to pursue women's economic development,” he said. He said the US is working to ensure women across the globe can have the same rights as men to own and inherit property, travel freely and access credit.

Trump also spoke on abortion and the UN arms trade treaty. “Americans will never tire of defending innocent lives. Many UN projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer funded abortion on demand right up till the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of national looking at protecting innocent lives. Every child is a sacred gift from God. Under no circumstances will the US allow international entities to trample on the right of our citizens, including the right to self-defence. That is why I announce we will never ratify the UN arms trade treaty, which would threaten the liberties of law-abiding American citizens,” he said.

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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2019 22:31:29 IST