Chinese premier Xi Jinping has warned that regional tensions in the Asia-Pacific cannot result in the Cold War era.
“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and the division of the Cold War era,” the Chinese president said during his virtual address at the Conscious Capitalism CEO summit on Thursday.
He asserted that any attempt to chart boundaries in the region along ideological or geopolitical lines will fail. He said the Asia Pacific should ensure functioning of supply lines and aim to liberalise trade and investment.
China, Mr Xi said, will remain firm in advancing reform and opening up in a bid to add impetus to economic development.
Spotlighting the region’s tough battle with the pandemic, the Chinese premier said that an all-out effort to fight the deadly viral disease is the most pressing task. Asia-Pacific has to emerge from its shadow as soon as possible, Mr Xi said.
The warning from Mr Xi — who is eyeing a third five-year term of China’s premiership — comes shortly after Beijing’s western adversaries US, Britain and Australia announced a new security alliance in Asia-Pacific.
The coalition, announced after the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, will allow Australia to build nuclear submarines.
Establishing its dominance in the region, China has claimed vast parts of the South China Sea and adjoining areas. It is also ramping up its military presence by constructing islands in disputed areas, alleging its historical claims.
Alongside, several Asian countries are aiming to nullify China and the US’s influence on the economic and geopolitical fronts.
APEC members like US, China, Taiwan, Russia and Australia constitute nearly 60 per cent of the world’s GDP and represent a population of nearly 3 billion. However, the 21 nations and territories encounter troubled ties owing to their unlikeliness.
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