Asia

China warns of return to Cold War tensions

Published : November 11, 2021 17:34 IST

China's leader Xi Jinping has warned against rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region. Photo: Andy Wong/AP/dpa/picture alliance

The Asia-Pacific region "should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era," Xi said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on November 11 against a return to Cold War-era tensions in the Asia-Pacific. He made the comments amid growing tension in the region with the United States over Taiwan as well as the South China Sea.

"Attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds are bound to fail," the Chinese leader said during a virtual business conference on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. "The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era."

What else did Xi say?

"China will stay committed to promoting win-win cooperation and contribute to the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region," Xi said. The Chinese leader also called for a joint effort to close the "immunization gap," making COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to developing nations. Xi mentioned sustainable development as China and the U.S. agreed to an "ambitious" climate action plan at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Tensions in the Asia-Pacific

Tensions have been rising in the region between the United States and China over the democratically governed island of Taiwan, which China views as part of the mainland. U.S. President Joe Biden said in October that the United States has a "commitment" to defend Taiwan as the island faces growing military and political pressure from Beijing. Biden made the comments at a town hall event hosted by U.S. broadcaster CNN. During the interview, he also commented: "I don't want a cold war with China."

In September, the United States held an in-person meetup with leaders of the "Quad" grouping of India, Japan and Australia. China was not officially on the agenda, but the Quad released a statement, saying: "We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states."

A crash by a U.S. nuclear submarine in the disputed South China Sea also stoked tensions with China. Despite the growing animosity, a virtual meeting with Biden and Xi is set to go ahead as soon as next week, according to news agency Reuters, quoting an unnamed source.

kmm/sms (AFP, Reuters)

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