The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Sunday November 28th

An Uncertain Future: Joe Biden and Xi Jinping Address the United Nations

<p>Representing billions of people, the annual meeting is a platform where leaders can publicize the agendas and future plans of their countries(<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/lmdo/5802834427/in/photolist-9QM3vr-5Ncu8d-5Ncu8m-5Ncu8u-EpZWn-Eq12M-K6XjpX-PQhLM3-9DH1Rm-vLNAb-2aLt6do-vLNG5-vLND7-M2Jurj-zeNGYR-2hmnMGd-2kaA4cG-2id9NwT-cmJa3q-2hNHjSM-2ayKceR-g8v8qK-29tt4hG-Fnxu5-8rCp3n-XsexTa-g9o174-2himML7-g9nRoH-2pQhDT-2boYDiF-yh5SKk-g9o2yT-zcVK5U-zbE5TJ-yh5RZn-g9nRWg-2boYCxx-zdYcBp-g9o3f2-LP6xU4-LjGEdw-2boYE1x-LP6RPc-2hJvp5J-29tCdpm-2b79vBp-276mAGD-ooeKpQ-oEu8Fx" target="">Flickr</a>).</p>

Representing billions of people, the annual meeting is a platform where leaders can publicize the agendas and future plans of their countries(Flickr).

Harrison Lavelle

Staff Writer

On Sept. 21, the leaders of all 193 United Nations member states convened in New York City to address the organization’s 76th General Assembly. The yearly gathering resumed this fall for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Representing billions of people, the annual meeting is a platform where leaders can publicize the agendas and future plans of their countries. 

The remarks of two individuals, American President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, were followed with heightened attention. With tensions between the world’s foremost superpower and its ever-rising competitor incessantly brewing, it has become increasingly important to understand the goals and aspirations of both states. 

Introducing a ‘new era’ of American diplomacy, Politico reported that Biden aimed to encourage member states through his speech to understand US commitment to solving the climate crisis, reducing regionalized corruption and fighting back against Covid-19. With approval ratings still reeling from the controversial American withdrawal from Afghanistan last month, Biden spurned war and called for peace. 

Politico reported that before concluding, Biden stated that he “did not want a new Cold War” but that the United States would compete aggressively with foreign competitors. Further stirring the pot, Biden expressed his fears regarding the spread of authoritarianism and even went so far as to ambiguously reference the Xinjiang region of China where accusations of genocide have been made in the past. While these remarks were not direct references to China, the innuendos were crystal clear.

Employing similarly grandiose language, President Xi Jinping reiterated the PRC’s commitment to multilateralism, a foreign policy term used to describe cooperative relationships between three or more countries. Speaking shortly after President Biden eschewed a new ‘Cold War,’ Xi claimed that there is indeed enough room for two global superpowers in the world. Much like his American counterpart, Xi seemed reticent to directly address the US in his remarks, instead relying on the power of implication. 

Aiming to join Biden in an unspoken agreement to reduce vocal fervor between the two countries, Xi adopted a “calm” oratorical style, clearly articulating his ‘big picture’ without caustic direct references. One criticism that was made known dealt with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and general western intervention in the affairs of other countries, a practice that Xi criticized. Both leaders were attempting to address critical comments made by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urging the two powers to steady their rocky relations in an effort to fend off an outright collapse.

For now, it appears that underlying tensions have been lessened following dedicated efforts by both Biden and Xi to maintain the status quo in their global addresses. Nonetheless, the hidden jabs and concealed innuendos that mutually permeated both speeches paint a picture of veiled animosity that has yet to subside. Countries around the world will be watching the United States and China closely over the coming months to see what direction the world’s two most formidable countries will take and what impacts they will have on the entire global community.




Comments

This Week's Issue

Issuu Preview