In the Indo-Pacific, Chinese President Xi Jinping warns against a “Cold War”
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Thursday against reverting to a Cold War mentality as a result of Indo-Pacific tensions. His remarks on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum’s annual conference came only weeks after the US, Britain, and Australia declared a new regional security alliance in which Australia will build nuclear submarines. The agreement has been roundly panned by China. Xi gave a pre-recorded video address to a CEO Summit at APEC, which is being hosted in a virtual version by New Zealand. On Saturday, Xi will take part in an online meeting with other Pacific Rim leaders, including US Vice President Joe Biden.
“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era,” Xi said. Attempts to construct regional boundaries along ideological or geopolitical lines, Xi stated in his speech, would fail. Xi also stated that the area must ensure that supply lines remain operational and that trade and investment remain liberalized.
The most essential duty in the region, he said, is to make an all-out effort to combat the pandemic and escape as quickly as possible from its shadow.APEC members collectively account for approximately 3 billion people and around 60% of global GDP. However, the unusual alliance of 21 states and territories, which includes the United States, China, Taiwan, Russia, and Australia, is riven by deep tensions. “China will remain firm in advancing reform and opening up so as to add impetus to economic development,” he said.
China has asserted its ancient rights to broad swaths of the South China Sea and other locations by establishing a military presence, including the construction of islands in certain disputed areas. Both Taiwan and China have applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a Pacific Rim trade pact, with Beijing claiming that Taiwan’s bid will be rejected because the democratically governed island refuses to accept that it is a part of communist-ruled China.
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