Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that Beijing had “no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country,” PTI reported. Without taking names, Xi said China would continue to resolve disputes through negotiation.
“We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation,” Xi said in a pre-recorded video statement to the annual gathering of world leaders, conducted virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot war with any country.”
The president’s remarks came in the backdrop of heightened military tensions between India and China in the border areas.Troops of both have been involved in a stand-off at multiple points in eastern Ladakh since May. The lowest point in the crisis was when 20 Indian soldiers and an unidentified number of Chinese personnel were killed in a violent face-off at Galwan valley on June 15.
Both sides have accused the other of fresh provocations, including allegations of soldiers crossing into each other’s territory in the months after their deadliest standoff in decades. Several rounds of military level talks have failed to break the impasse. Tensions escalated again this month at the Pangong Tso lake’s southern bank, which led to the firing of shots at the Line of Actual Control for the first time in decades.
On Tuesday, in a joint press release about the sixth round of Corps Commander-level talks, the two sides agreed not to add more troops to the frontline and avoid “unilaterally” changing the situation on the ground. This was the first meeting between the military heads after the foreign ministers had met and agreed on five-point consensus at Moscow, to defuse tensions and resolve the ongoing military stand-off in eastern Ladakh.
On coronavirus and economy
In his address to the United Nations, Xi also spoke about China’s vision for a global economy and said his country would not pursue development behind closed doors.
“Rather, we aim to foster, over time, a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other,” he added. “This will create more space for China’s economic development and add impetus to global economic recovery and growth.”
On the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese president called for a global response to the virus and giving the World Health Organization a leading role. “Facing the virus, we should enhance solidarity and get this through together,” he said. “We should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the leading role of the World Health Organization, and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic.
Xi added that “any attempt of politicising the issue or stigmatisation must be rejected”.
His remarks came amid accusations from United States Donald Trump that China’s early failures were what enabled the coronavirus pandemic to spread quickly across the globe. Local authorities in Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first identified last year, were accused of a cover-up that delayed the country’s emergency response by at least two weeks.`
In his address to the UN, Trump once again alleged that China covered up the origins of the virus in the early days of the pandemic and called on the United Nations to hold Beijing accountable for “unleashing the plague” onto the world.
“The Chinese government and the World Health Organization, which is virtually controlled by China, falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission [of of the coronavirus],” Trump said. “Later they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease. UN must hold China accountable for their actions.”
In his speech on Tuesday, Xi also stressed that no country can gain from others’ difficulties or maintain stability by taking advantage of others’ troubles. “To pursue a beggar-thy-neighbour policy or just watch from a safe distance when others are in danger will eventually land one in the same trouble faced by others,” he said.