China's Xi says Asia-Pacific must not return to Cold War tensions

Reuters

Posted at Nov 11 2021 05:02 AM | Updated as of Nov 11 2021 06:53 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on television screens at a media center, as he delivers a speech via video at the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai November 4, 2021. Andrew Galbraith, Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on television screens at a media center, as he delivers a speech via video at the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai November 4, 2021. Andrew Galbraith, Reuters

The Asia-Pacific region must not return to the tensions of the Cold War era, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, ahead of a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden expected as soon as next week.

Xi, in a recorded video message to a CEO forum on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit hosted by New Zealand, said attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds were bound to fail.

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

Xi's remarks were an apparent reference to US efforts with allies and partners in the region, including the Quad grouping with India, Japan and Australia, to blunt what Washington sees as China's growing coercive economic and military influence.

China's military said on Tuesday it conducted a combat readiness patrol in the direction of the Taiwan Strait, after its Defense Ministry condemned a visit by a US congressional delegation to Taiwan, the democratically governed island claimed by Beijing.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the United States and its allies would take unspecified "action" if China were to use force to alter the status quo over Taiwan.

Combative US diplomatic exchanges with China early in the Biden administration unnerved allies, and US officials believe direct engagement with Xi is the best way to prevent the relationship between the world's two biggest economies from spiraling toward conflict.

A date has not been announced for the Xi-Biden meeting, but a person briefed on the matter said it was expected to be as soon as next week.

Xi indicated earlier this week in a letter to the annual dinner of the National Committee on US-China Relations that China is ready to properly manage differences with the United States. (Reporting by Michael Martina, David Brunnstrom and Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Peter Cooney)

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Watch more News on iWantTFC