onsdag 21. april 2021

China's veiled threat of increasingly 'fractured' world

Chinese President Xi Jinping has issued a thinly veiled threatto other nations, taking aim at the United States in particular as he rejected a world led by the Western superpower. Xi’s speech at an economic forum on Tuesday (local time) comes amid rising tension with China’s neighbours and Washington, over its strategic ambitions and demands for a bigger role in making trade and other rules that shape global systems.

He warned against a "new Cold War mentality" emerging that could see the world deeply divided into two groups. There have long been concerns China and Russia's authoritarian governments could effectively split the world in two. “We must do everything possible to avert the great fracture and maintain a universal system, a universal economy with universal respect for international law," US Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned in 2019.

While denouncing a "decoupled" world, the Chinese leader seemed to simultaneously stoke such concerns. Without mentioning the United States, Xi criticised “unilateralism of individual countries” and warned against decoupling, a reference to fears US-Chinese tension over technology and security will split industries and markets into separate, less productive spheres with incompatible standards.

“International affairs should be handled by everyone through consultation,” he said.