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China cold shoulders Biden's no Cold War pledge; says opposed to 'small cliques'

In his speech, Xi said disputes among countries "need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation" and urged world leaders to eschew "confrontation and exclusion."

Published: 22nd September 2021 09:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2021 09:19 PM   |  A+A-

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden (Photo | AP)

By PTI

BEIJING: China on Wednesday cold-shouldered US President Joe Biden's assertion that Washington will not seek a "new Cold War", saying America should avoid its "zero-sum game" and formation of "small cliques" against Beijing.

Amid the increasing tensions with China on the whole gamut of bilateral ties between the top two economies of the world, Biden in his address at the UN General Assembly meeting on Tuesday said he was "not seeking a new Cold War".

"We are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs," he said, without naming China.

"We've ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan," Biden said.

"And as we close this period of relentless war, we're opening a new era of relentless diplomacy of using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people up around the world."

Asked for his reaction to Biden's no Cold War remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that besides accepting the UN's central role in international affairs, the US should "abandon zero-sum game and small cliques".

"Solving the problems, the international community should not seek hegemonic bullying, still less creating divisions and confrontation. What we need is cooperation for win-win results and demolition of high walls and barricades," Zhao said.

"Hope the relevant country will follow the trend of the times, look at China and its development in an objective and unbiased manner," he said.

Significantly, Chinese President Xi Jinping who spoke hours after Biden's speech also referred to the "formation of circles" in his speech, apparently hitting out at the Quad grouping, consisting of the US, India, Japan and Australia and AUKUS consisting of the US, the UK and Australia.

In his video link speech, which figured in the last of speakers at the UNGA meeting on Tuesday, Xi sought to match Biden on a host of issues including climate, democracy, human rights and coronavirus origin.

According to a report in Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, China's speech was originally scheduled at the end of the UNGA meeting but it was reportedly advanced to Tuesday to take on issues with Biden.

"Earlier scheduling indicated that China's address would be delivered at the end of the General Assembly week by a deputy prime minister," the Post reported.

"It is not clear why Beijing opted to have Xi speak to the assembly by video instead, though it was seen as a possible response to Biden's high-profile address and his administration's criticism that China falls short on adhering to global rules and norms," it said.

In his speech, Xi said disputes among countries "need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation" and urged world leaders to eschew "confrontation and exclusion."

He said that the world needs to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games.

"Differences and problems among countries, hardly avoidable, need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. One country's success does not have to mean another country's failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries," he said.

He also hit out at the US highlighting its democratic values.

"Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy. Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm" he said, pointing to America's two-decade-old intervention in Afghanistan which last month ended with Taliban seizing power.

"We need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games,” Xi, also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, said.

"Differences and problems among countries, hardly avoidable, need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. One country's success does not have to mean another country's failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries," he said.

"We need to pursue dialogue and inclusiveness over confrontation and exclusion. We need to build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and do the best we can to expand the convergence of our interests and achieve the biggest synergy possible," Xi said.

"We must improve global governance and practice true multilateralism," he said, criticizing the US unilateral approach to issues.

"In the world, there is only one international system, i.e. the international system with the United Nations at its core. There is only one international order, i.e. the international order underpinned by international law. And there is only one set of rules, i.e. the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter," he said.

Xi said that China will firmly oppose any political manoeuvring in global COVID-19 origins tracing and continue to engage in global science-based coronavirus origins tracing.

He said China stands firmly opposed to political manoeuvring in whatever form, in an apparent reference to attempts by the US and EU countries pressing Beijing to permit investigation into the coronavirus origin as it first surfaced in Wuhan.

He said China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines against COVID-19 to the world by the end of this year.



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