Speaking at the opening of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden laid out the vision of an America that is back, engaged and restoring its post-war leadership role, a contrast to the vision that China and other authoritarian regimes have offered as they work to chip away at what they characterise as US hegemony.
Even as Biden touted US-led global partnerships – and levelled veiled criticism at China over intellectual property theft, human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the need for “high-quality” infrastructure projects – he called on the two economic giants to work together where possible.
“None of these partnerships are about containing any country. They’re about a positive vision for our shared future,” Biden said. “When it comes to China, I want to be clear and consistent. We seek to responsibly manage the competition between our countries so it does not tip into conflict.”
The US does not seek to decouple the two economies but rather to “de-risk” their relationship, he said.
“We will push back on aggression and intimidation to defend the rules of the road, from freedom of navigation to overflight to level economic playing field, and it helps safeguard security and prosperity for decades,” Biden told the 193-member global body. “But we also stand ready to work together with China on issues where progress hinges on our common interests.”
Biden’s messaging has been made easier by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision not to attend the UN opening, following his absence from the Group of 20 meeting in India this month. At the same time, a similar absence by top leaders of the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council has increased debate over the body’s effectiveness.
At play for both China and the US is the Global South.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva started the day by calling for concerted action, not empty promises. The goal, he said, must be reduced inequality and economic development. Even as he defended democracy, he said that vast swathes of the globe too often end up being afterthoughts as major powers face off.
“We shall continue to criticise any attempts to divide the world into zones of influence and reviving the Cold War,” Lula said. “The UN needs to fulfil its role as a builder of a world with more solidarity for eternity and fairness.”
Biden countered that, while problematic, the US-led institutions built after World War II – including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, G20 and UN Security Council – were sound, albeit in need of change that Washington is shepherding.
Earlier this month, the US announced plans to shore up the IMF and World Bank’s lending and direction.
He also lauded a range of new and reinvigorated global groupings his administration has promoted, including the Quad – Japan, Australia, the US and India – and the Summit for Democracy held in March.
This comes as China seeks to counter Washington’s allies and partners strategy – accusing the US of building discriminatory blocs and fuelling a Cold War mentality – and builds parallel multilateral groupings, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and strengthen Brics, a union of Brazil, Russia, Iran, China and South Africa.
EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected]