US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is to participate in a UN Security Council meeting chaired by Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on strengthening global cooperation and the key role of the UN in harnessing international action to tackle the world’s conflicts and crises, China’s ambassador to the UN said on Monday.
The meeting is “the first priority” of China’s UN Security Council presidency this month, and is to be attended not only by Blinken, but “quite a number” of other foreign ministers from the 15 nations on the UN’s most powerful body, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a news conference.
Last week, US President Joe Biden told Congress about the critical importance of the US keeping up with China, which his administration sees as a strategic challenger, and proving that US democracy can still work and maintain primacy in the world.
Friday’s council session also comes in the wake of a contentious meeting in Alaska on March 18 between Blinken and Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪), who took aim at each other’s country’s sharply different policies. It was the first face-to-face US-China meeting of the Biden administration.
Blinken said the administration is united with its allies in pushing back against China’s increasing authoritarianism and assertiveness at home and abroad, including its actions in Hong Kong and against Taiwan, the Uighur minority in Xinjiang and in the South China Sea.
Yang responded angrily, demanding that the US stop pushing its own version of democracy at a time when the US has been roiled by domestic discontent and accusing Washington of hypocrisy for criticizing Beijing on human rights and other issues.
“It’s becoming more and more evident that in tackling the current global crises, multilateralism represents the right way out,” Zhang said on Monday.
He recalled the declaration adopted in September last year by world leaders commemorating the 75th anniversary of the UN, which says that following the COVID-19 pandemic: “Multilateralism is not an option, but a necessity as we build back better for a more equal, more resilient, and more sustainable world. The United Nations must be at the center of our efforts.”
At Friday’s meeting, “we do hope ... members will have the opportunity to reaffirm their support to multilateralism, to practice real multilateralism, and then to give stronger support to the role of the United Nations and to defend the international system with the United Nations sitting at the center, and also to support international order based on international law,” he said.
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