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Peter Beyer MP, Germany’s government’s coordinator for relations with the United States and Canada, warned that the “new Cold War between the United States and China has already begun and will shape this century.” The Christian Democratic Union of Germany politician said he was “frustrated” that Europe “can’t find a common denominator right now” on key issues.
These included supporting the World Health Organisation amid the coronavirus pandemic, reining in Iran’s nuclear ambitions and tackling climate change.
He admitted that it was no secret that Germany would find it easier to work with Joe Biden after four years of frequent friction between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel on issues including Iran, trade, NATO and the climate.
Mr Beyer added: “Beyer said decades of post-war cooperation between the allies had built a foundation of “supposedly old-fashioned values” like “freedom and democracy, peace and prosperity”.
He warned that the USA stood in contrast to a Chinese system marked by “dictatorship, a lack of press freedom and human rights, digital surveillance, (abuse of) the Uighurs, Hong Kong, the environment”.
Mr Beyer’s calls were backed by UN Security General Antonio Guterres, who warned world leaders about an upcoming cold war because of the deep rifts between the USA and China.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Mr Guterres said: “We are moving in a very dangerous direction.”
“Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a Great Fracture — each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities.
“A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geo-strategic and military divide.
“We must avoid this at all costs.”
Referring to the Coronavirus pandemic, the UN security general said: “COVID-19 has laid bare the world’s fragilities: rising inequalities, climate catastrophe, widening societal divisions, rampant corruption.
“The pandemic has exploited these injustices, preyed on the most vulnerable and wiped away the progress of decades.
“People are hurting, our planet is burning.”
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His calls were backed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who repeated the findings of a 2016 tribunal that ruled in favour of Manila and rejected most of Beijing’s claims to the South China Sea.
US-China relations have become strained since February over a new Hong Kong security law and South China Sea relations.
The rivalry between the two powers was also in full display as US President Donald Trump began his very short virtual speech attacking “the China virus” in June.
President Trump urged the United Nations to hold Beijing “accountable” for failing to contain COVID-19.
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