onsdag 23. september 2020

Contrast couldn't be greater between Trump and Xi at the UN, but Chinese leader is the true authoritarian

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the world to "join hands to uphold the values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom shared by all of us." After hailing China's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Xi said Beijing wants to "continue to work as a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order."

It was a continuation of a role Xi has played at previous high-profile international meetings, as a defender of free trade and multilateralism, in contrast to an increasingly isolationist United States under President Donald Trump. The difference between the two leaders was made neatly by Trump himself, who spent much of his UNGA speech attacking China, which he blamed for having "unleashed this plague onto the world." This is a dichotomy that has long existed, particularly as Xi has attempted to take advantage of Trump's "America First" foreign policy to assert China's dominance at international bodies like the UN.