Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Thursday against a return to Cold War-era tensions in the Asia-Pacific, urging greater cooperation on pandemic recovery and climate change.
Amid growing tensions with the United States over Taiwan, partially offset by a surprise deal between Beijing and Washington on climate, Xi said all countries in the region must work together on joint challenges.
“Attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geo-political grounds are bound to fail,” he told 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.”
The Chinese leader called for a joint effort to close the “immunization gap,” making COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to developing nations.
“We should translate consensus that vaccines are a global public good into concrete actions to ensure their fair and equitable distribution,” he told the New Zealand-hosted summit.
Xi said the region should ensure that developing countries can access and afford COVID-19 vaccines.
China on Wednesday said it had reached an understanding with the United States at a summit in Glasgow on climate change, a key area on which the Biden administration sees the potential for cooperation.
Xi did not mention the deal with the US directly but said “all of us can embark on a path of green, low-carbon sustainable development.”
“Together, we can usher in a future of green development,” he said. “China will stay committed to promoting win-win cooperation and contribute to the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region.”