Blinken confronts Russia and China at the UN, calling them out for fueling global disorder
Blinken called out China and Russia during a UN meeting, accusing them of fueling global disorder.
He warned the US would “push back forcefully when we see countries” break international rules.
The top Chinese and Russian diplomats responded with criticism of the US.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken verbally sparred with his Russian and Chinese counterparts during a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, accusing their governments of contributing to disorder across the globe.
In a message seemingly aimed at Moscow and Beijing, the top US diplomat warned Washington would “push back forcefully when we see countries undermine the international order, pretend that the rules we’ve all agreed to don’t exist, or simply violate them at will.”
“Because for the system to deliver, all countries must abide by it and put in the work for its success,” Blinken added.
And in what appeared to be a jab at the Trump administration, Blinken said, “I know that some of our actions in recent years have undermined the rules-based order and led others to question whether we are still committed to it. Rather than take our word for it, we ask the world to judge our commitment by our actions.”
Blinken also used the meeting to stress the importance of global cooperation, stating international order was in “serious jeopardy.” He said the US would work with any country on the challenges the world faces, adding, “including those with whom we have serious differences.”
“Nationalism is resurgent, repression is rising, rivalries among countries are deepening – and attacks against the rules-based order are intensifying. Now, some question whether multilateral cooperation is still possible. The United States believes it is not only possible, it is imperative,” Blinken said. “Multilateralism is still our best tool for tackling big global challenges.”
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, whom Blinken got into a heated debate with in Alaska back in March, responded with veiled criticism of the US. The top Chinese diplomat chastised countries who view international rules as “patent or privilege of the few,” per The New York Times.
Wang also said “no country should expect other countries to lose.” Biden in late March said he would prevent China from becoming the world’s most wealthy, powerful country. That said, Blinken in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” earlier this week underscored it’s not the administration’s goal to “contain China, to hold it back, to keep it down,” but rather to “uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to.”
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, was far more blunt in his critique of the US. He lambasted the Biden administration for proposing a Summit for Democracy.
“The American administration is calling for creating a new special interests club on an openly ideologized basis, that could further exacerbate international tension and draw dividing lines in the world,” Lavrov said, per The Wall Street Journal. “The list of democracies that are being invited to this summit will inevitably be drawn up by the US themselves.”
Both China and Russia were also critical of recent sanctions imposed by the US.
Friday’s testy exchange came as relations between the three global powers have hit a low point. President Joe Biden has made challenging both countries on the global stage a top priority, portraying it as part of a broader fight between democracy and autocracy.
During his first speech to Congress on April 28, Biden said the US is in a “competition with China and other countries to win the 21st century,” calling it “a great inflection point in history.”
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