09/24/2020, 13.42
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UN Secretary: The world cannot afford a new cold war between China and the US

At the United Nations General Assembly, Antonio Guterres warns of the risk of dividing the planet according to the two great economies, which can lead to geostrategic and military divisions. The speeches of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping: the challenge between "two bullies". The United States and China will not participating in an alliance of 156 nations for the creation of an anti-Covid vaccine even for poor countries.

New York (AsiaNews) - The world is taking a "very dangerous direction": that of a new Cold War between China and the United States.

The warning comes from the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres who two days ago, at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, warned all countries of possible future tragedies and divisions.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the large hall is empty and the speeches of over 100 heads of state, plus other personalities, are taking place via video.

Without directly mentioning Beijing and Washington, Guterres said that " Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture — each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities".

He added: “A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geostrategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs”.

Two days ago, the video interventions of the two leaders - Donald Trump and Xi Jinping - revealed their profound disagreement on many aspects: from international cooperation, to the management of the pandemic, to global warming.

The US president lashed out at China accused of letting Covid-19 spread with its silence and its influence on the World Health Organization and accused Beijing of being the most polluting country, but of doing little to clean up of the planet.

For his part, in a speech that various analysts have described as "good cop", Xi Jinping said that his country wants to defend multilateralism; that by 2060 it will reduce carbon emissions; that it will use dialogue and negotiation to "reduce the differences" between nations.

Diana Fu, who teaches political science at the University of Toronto, described the spectacle of the two General Assembly speeches as “bullies duking it out on the stage of the United Nations”.

“The American bully, personified by Trump, is ostentatiously attacking its rival by stigmatising it as a global virus,” she said. “The other is attacking its opponent by paying lip service to multilateralism while actually playing by its own rules.”

An example of how similar China and the United States really are, can be seen from one fact: neither intends to participate in an alliance for the production of an anti-Covid vaccine that can be distributed to the world (and especially to poor countries). Three days ago, the WHO proposed a global scheme for the production of future vaccines, to which 156 nations have joined, but neither the United States nor China have so far joined. Both superpowers prefer to first secure the vaccine for themselves and then distribute it to "friendly countries".

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