But privately, some officials concede growing similarities. The US-UK deal to equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines is clearly an effort to restore naval balance in the Pacific, as China expands territorial claims and threatens Taiwan. The United States has also attempted to block China’s access to sophisticated technologies and Western communication systems.
“The future belongs to those who give their people the opportunity to breathe freely, not those who seek to suffocate their people with iron authoritarianism,” Biden said, leaving no doubt who he meant. “The authoritarians of the world, they seek to proclaim the end of the era of democracy, but they are wrong.
Hours after Biden left the podium, Xi also addressed the General Assembly, in a pre-recorded video, dismissing his government’s U.S. representations as repressive and expansionist, saying he supports development. peaceful for all people.
Xi’s language was withheld and, like Biden, he did not name his country’s main rival, but he clearly hinted at China’s anger over the Australian Submarine Pact. . The world must “reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games,” he said, adding that international disputes “must be dealt with through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of quality and mutual respect ”.
He also announced that his country would stop building “new overseas coal-fired power projects,” ending one of the dirtiest fossil fuel programs. China is by far the biggest funder of coal-fired power plants.
Mr Biden’s debut at the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York has been mitigated by the pandemic. Many national leaders did not attend, and there were few of the big receptions and relentless traffic jams that have traditionally marked the September ritual.
He only stayed a few hours and only met one ally: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Later that day, back in Washington, Biden met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the other partner in the submarine deal.