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Trump UN Speech a Message to China     09/22 06:08

   President Donald Trump, who prefers speaking to boisterous crowds, is set to 
give a prerecorded address to the U.N. General Assembly as he grapples with the 
coronavirus pandemic, chilly relations between the U.S. and China and ongoing 
threats from North Korea and Iran --- all during a heated campaign for 
reelection.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump, who prefers speaking to 
boisterous crowds, is set to give a prerecorded address to the U.N. General 
Assembly as he grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, chilly relations between 
the U.S. and China and ongoing threats from North Korea and Iran --- all during 
a heated campaign for reelection.

   Trump told reporters Monday that he'd have a "strong message" for China, 
where the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, but he didn't elaborate ahead 
of the Tuesday address. Earlier in his administration, Trump hosted Chinese 
President Xi Jinping at his Florida club, but now the two leaders are 
exchanging angry words over trade.

   The administration has been slamming the Chinese Communist Party for its 
handling of COVID-19, election meddling, espionage in the United States and 
influence peddling across the world.

   Trump is not popular at the United Nations and his speech this year comes at 
a time when U.N. members are pushing back against Washington. On Monday, Trump 
declared that all U.N. sanctions against Iran have been reimposed, a move that 
most of the rest of the world rejects as illegal.

   Trump's statement came shortly after he signed an executive order spelling 
out how the U.S. will enforce the "snapback" of sanctions. "My actions today 
send a clear message to the Iranian regime and those in the international 
community who refuse to stand up to Iran," he said.

   The U.S. said it was reimposing sanctions on Iran for being in noncompliance 
with the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and global powers. But Trump in 2018 
pulled out of the deal in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in 
exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

   Few U.N. member states believe the U.S. has the legal standing to restore 
the sanctions because Trump withdrew from the agreement. The U.S. argues it 
retains the right to do so as an original participant in the deal and a member 
of the council.

   The White House has not previewed his U.N. speech, but Trump was expected to 
highlight agreements the U.S. brokered between Israel and the United Arab 
Emirates and Bahrain. The historic agreements come as relations between the 
Jewish state and Arab nations are thawing as a pushback against Iran.

   The president likely will take credit for brokering economic cooperation 
between Serbia and Kosovo and for pressuring NATO nations to meet their pledge 
to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on their own defenses to lessen the 
burden on the alliance.

   He might also have words for North Korea's Kim Jong Un. In 2017, Trump told 
the U.N. he was bringing a "message of peace," but then said that if the U.S. 
was forced to defend itself against Kim, "we will have no choice but to totally 
destroy North Korea." He called Kim "rocket man," but has since met with him 
three times, although North Korea has not made a move to give up its nuclear 
weapons.

   Trump's has tussled with multilateral organizations throughout his 
presidency, although his aides say he is not against all multilateral groups, 
only the ones that aren't effective. After COVID-19 took hold, Trump yanked 
support from the U.N.'s World Health Organization, saying it was too beholden 
to China.