Beijing/Wellington, 11 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against “Cold War” confrontations on Thursday, a day ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era,” Xi said in a video speech at a forum of business leaders from the APEC bloc.
He urged a rejection of “practices of discrimination” against individual countries.
“Attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds are bound to fail,” he said.
Xi also advocated for Pacific Rim countries to cooperate better in the fight against Covid-19, citing testing methods, medicine, research and development as well as the production and mutual recognition of vaccines.
He did not comment on the US-China agreement announced a day earlier at the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow to cooperate further on climate change, but spoke in favour of stepping up efforts to combat global warming.
He emphasized the special responsibility of developed industrial nations to help poorer countries with funding and technology. China is the largest global producer of carbon dioxide, followed by the United States.
He said economic needs must be taken into account, and pointed to the more than 100 million people in the Asia-Pacific region live in “abject poverty.”
Some economies suffer from poor infrastructure and underdeveloped health and education systems, he said, and argued that if people’s livelihoods were neglected, social support for climate action would be lost.
Beijing is increasingly closing itself off in the wake of US sanctions and pandemic-related travel restrictions and is criticized for offering insufficient access to its markets.
Despite this, Xi assured the forum that China, the world’s second-largest economy, was sticking to its policy of reform and opening up.
He touted Beijing’s bid to join the 11-nation trading group the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and promised as a path to further market opening.
On Friday, Xi will join US President Joe Biden and other leaders at the online APEC summit hosted by New Zealand.
The 21 APEC countries, including Russia and Japan, are home to nearly half the global population.