As world leaders gathered in New York for the 78th United Nations General Assembly this month, the United States and China, already engaged in a fierce rivalry to expand global influence, expressed different visions for the next era of international order.
“One era ends, a new era will begin,” said United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken when laying out the Biden administration’s ambitious blueprint for the future on Wednesday (13/9).
Condemning China for supporting autocratic regimes around the world, and Russia for waging an unequal war with Ukraine, Blinken expressed the US commitment to forging alliances that support democracy, fight for human rights and promote economic development.
“We will advance this vision guided by the sense of self-interest that has long animated American leadership at its best.”
Meanwhile this week, China launched the People’s Republic of China’s Proposal on Global Governance Reform and Development.
“Humanity is again at a crossroads,” says the 5,400-word proposal, which calls for greater multilateralism in international affairs with a reformed UN and an expanded Security Council at its core.
“Together, we will create a better future for humanity,” the proposal concludes.
The United States and China expressed a desire for a global governance system with increased participation from developing countries. Both countries agreed to expand the UN Security Council. However, the expansion continues to be a topic of heated debate with no real solution from either side.
Apart from that, doubts arise regarding the true intentions of the two superpowers.
“What both of them are saying is not what they really want,” said Hossein Askari, a professor of politics at George Washington University.
Beneath the veneer of multilateralism, the two superpowers may be looking for ways to advance their own interests, Askari told VOA.
“So China, Russia say they want a new world without any dominating power. But those were just sweet words. “They support the existence of new powers for the countries of the (global) south in order to gain support in their fight against the US,” said Askari.
“On the other hand, the US wants to remain at the top of the unipolar world. “The US needs new alliances around the world to challenge a growing China,” he said. (ka/hm/rs)