Xi Jinping tells UN China will uphold world peace, does not mention Taiwan

President Xi Jinping on Monday promised that China will always uphold world peace even as he failed to mention growing tensions with Taiwan in a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the country’s return to the United Nations.

Mr Xi called for greater global cooperation on the issues of  regional conflicts, terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity, and biosecurity.

“China resolutely opposes all forms of hegemony and power politics, unilateralism and protectionism,” he said, adding that countries should “vigorously advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom..”

Beijing was a founding member of the UN and one of the five permanent members at UNSC before it was blocked by the US to retain its seat until 1971.

Mr Xi called the “decision to restore all rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations” as a “victory for the Chinese people and a victory for people of the world.”

“China will stay committed to the path of multilateralism and always be a defender of the international order,” he added.

But the president did not mention Taiwan despite concerns raised by the United States and other countries as Beijing stepped up its military intimidation of the self-ruling democracy.

China has sent a record number of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone, forcing the island nation to raise alarm and seek help from the UN in what Taipei called the worst tensions in more than 40 years.

Taiwan also accuses China of preventing Taiwanese envoys from taking part in conferences by specialised UN agencies which has kept the nation distant from access to international cooperation in fields like medical science.

Taiwan held a UN seat under the title Republic of China but the island nation was expelled in 1971 after China was recognised as the sole representative under UN resolution 2758.

The foreign ministry of Taiwan reiterated a call for the UN to allow its “meaningful participation”, adding that the island had never been part of the People’s Republic and its government had no right to represent the island’s people.

Taiwan recognises itself as a free and independent country but China considers it as its breakaway province that will unify China, by force if necessary.

Without naming the US, Mr Xi appeared to take aim at the country, saying: “International rules can only be made by the 193 UN Member States together, and not decided by individual countries or blocs of countries. International rules should be observed by the 193 UN Member States, and there is and should be no exception.”

As Beijing and Washington remained embroiled in a lingering trade war, high-level diplomats from the US State Department met officials from Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, ahead of Mr Xi’s speech, via video conference to discuss Taipei’s participation at the UN and other international forums.

State Department official Rick Waters called out China for misusing its status in the UN. Mr Waters accused China of misusing UN Resolution 2758 to restrict Taiwan from taking part in the UN,  according to the semi-official Central News Agency in Taiwan.

Responding to the comments, China’s embassy in the US hit back at the statements, calling it “serious provocation to China” and “highly misleading.”

“This is a serious political provocation to China and a malign distortion of international law and universally recognised norms governing international relations,” the statement said.

US president Joe Biden answered “yes” when he was asked whether his administration would back Taiwan during a CNN town hall on Thursday.

“I don’t want a Cold War with China — I just want to make China understand that we are not going to step back, we are not going to change any of our views,” Mr Biden told host Anderson Cooper in Baltimore.

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