Chinese President Xi Jinping continued his rhetorical push for multilateralism at the United Nations, telling Secretary General Antonio Guterres that China would never seek hegemony or try to decouple itself from other countries.
“China never initiates ideological confrontation, nor seeks to decouple from other countries, and never seeks hegemony. What we think about the most is to help the 1.4 billion Chinese people have a better life and make great contributions to humanity,” he said, according to a statement posted by the foreign ministry.
“But China will not tolerate any harm to its sovereignty, national dignity or development, and will firmly safeguard its legitimate interests and uphold the justice of the world.”
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In an apparent indirect criticism of the United States, Xi said unilateralism and hegemony would not attract support.
China-US tensions, which have been in a months-long free fall, took centre stage at the UN General Assembly. US President Donald Trump used his speech at the meeting to blame Beijing for unleashing “this plague onto the world”. China hit back and accused him of abusing the assembly to provoke a confrontation.
Xi said the pandemic had exacerbated conflicts in global governance and called for international efforts to improve geopolitical relationships, instead of creating new problems.
“There is only one system in the world, which is the global system with the UN at its core, and there is only one set of rules, which is the basic norms of international relations based on the UN Charter,” he said.
Xi also sought to reaffirm China’s position as a leader in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He said China would be willing to share its experience in combating the Covid-19 pandemic “without any reservation” and would continue to offer help to countries in need.
He reaffirmed that China would provide coronavirus vaccines as global public goods, making it more readily available to governments worldwide. Beijing has promised access and funding for potential vaccines to several countries, but it has not joined a World Health Organization scheme on global vaccine distribution.
Guterres said the UN expected China to make more significant contributions as it sought to strengthen cooperation in various global issues.
On Tuesday, Xi said China had no intention of fighting either a cold war or a hot war with any country. He also said the UN Security Council should play a role as a collective security mechanism.
Xi also announced ambitious targets for China to become a carbon-neutral country by 2060.
More from South China Morning Post:
- China-US relations not a zero-sum game, says ‘tough’ Joe Biden
- China-US rivalry: Asian countries fear getting caught in a new cold war
- Climate change: Xi Jinping makes bold pledge for China to be carbon neutral by 2060
This article Chinese President Xi Jinping hits out against hegemony and decoupling at UN first appeared on South China Morning Post