China’s Xi warns of Cold War-era tensions in Asia-Pacific | Xi Jinping News – Community News
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China’s Xi warns of Cold War-era tensions in Asia-Pacific | Xi Jinping News

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned against returning to Cold War-era tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, urging global cooperation ahead of a virtual meeting with his US counterpart.

In a recorded video message to a CEO forum on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Xi said on Wednesday that attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds were doomed to fail.

“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not fall back into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era,” he said.

The Chinese president’s comments were a clear reference to the US’s efforts with regional allies and partners, including the Quad grouping with India, Japan and Australia, to fend off what they see as China’s growing coercive economic and military influence. weak.

Tensions between China and the US have soared in recent years, with Washington expressing concerns over Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea and its stances on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan. Amid the frictions, the two sides began talks to improve communications, and in October officials announced that Xi and US President Joe Biden would hold a virtual meeting before the end of the year.

Officials have not said when the summit will take place, but the Reuters news agency, citing an unidentified source, said Xi and Biden could hold talks as early as Monday.

In his speech on Wednesday, Xi also outlined what he believes were the most pressing tasks for the Asia-Pacific region: coming out of the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving a steady economic recovery.

Countries also need to do more to close the immunization gap against the coronavirus, he said.

“We need to translate the consensus that vaccines are a global public good into concrete actions to ensure fair and equitable distribution,” Xi said.

The week-long APEC forum, culminating in a meeting of leaders from all 21 members, is held entirely online by hosts New Zealand.

Deep divisions run through the group, including the US, China, Taiwan, Russia and Australia, accounting for nearly 3 billion people and nearly 60 percent of global GDP.

One of the points of contention is Taiwan’s bid to join a regional trade pact, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

China, which has also applied to join the CPTPP, opposes Taiwan’s membership as it claims sovereignty over the self-governed island. Beijing has stepped up military activity near the area over the past year, raising concerns in Washington and some European capitals.

It also remains unclear whether all APEC members will support a US bid to host the 2023 round of APEC meetings.

Still, officials say they made significant progress during some 340 preparatory meetings ahead of this week’s leaders’ meeting.

APEC members have agreed to reduce or eliminate many tariffs and border crossings on vaccines, masks and other medical products important to fight the pandemic.

Climate change was also a major agenda item at the summit, which will take place in parallel to the United Nations’ COP26 meeting in Glasgow.

At that meeting on Wednesday, the US and China announced a deal to boost cooperation on climate change, including by reducing methane emissions, protecting forests and phasing out coal.

The climate deal “shows that the United States and China can work together on issues that transcend other conflicts,” Frans Timmermans, European Commission executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, told Al Jazeera.

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