President Biden indicated a willingness to work with China while promising not to embark on a “Cold War” with the communist dictatorship during his speech to the United Nations.
“We’re not seeking, say it again, we are not seeking a new cold war or a world divided into rigid blocks,” Biden said in a speech that heavily alluded to issues with China, without directly naming the country.
Biden’s comment addressed concerns that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced before the assembly, urging China and the U.S. to repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship to avoid another Cold War.
The president promoted a “new era of diplomacy” in his first U.N. speech, indicating he was willing to partner with China on global issues such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
“The United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues peaceful resolution to shared challenges even if we have intense disagreements in other areas,” he said.
Biden urged for all nations to fight the coronavirus pandemic together.
“We must choose to do more than we think we can do alone so that we accomplish what we must together,” he said. “And ending this pandemic and making sure we’re better prepared for the next one.
Biden did not address the Chinese origin of the coronavirus or China’s refusal to allow transparency into the investigation.
Biden hinted at some concern areas with China, promoting the concept of “freedom on navigation” generally and promising to “oppose attempts by stronger countries that dominate weaker ones.” The president also mentioned the priority of religious freedom, explicitly referring to China’s Xinjiang province, where primarily Muslim minorities are held in detention camps.
But ultimately, Biden appeared to indicate he wanted to end the disagreement with China.
Notably, his speech was much different from former President Trump’s in 2020. He called nations to hold China accountable for the coronavirus and condemned its human rights abuses, the environment, and global trade.