world
Monday Sep 20 2021
By
Web Desk

UN chief warns China and US to avoid new Cold War

By
Web Desk
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks as U.N. General Assembly appointed him for a second five-year term from January 1, 2022, in New York City, New York, U.S., June 18, 2021. Photo: Reuters
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks as U.N. General Assembly appointed him for a second five-year term from January 1, 2022, in New York City, New York, U.S., June 18, 2021. Photo: Reuters

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns China and US of a potential new Cold War.
  • Says US-UK security agreement with Australia is just "one small piece of a more complex puzzle".
  • Ahead of UNGA, Guterres says it’s a "fantasy" to believe UN can "guarantee human rights are respected in Afghanistan" under Taliban rule.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned China and the US of a potential new Cold War and asked the countries to repair their "completely dysfunctional" relationship.

He said challenges relating to vaccination, climate change and other global challenges cannot be resolved without constructive relations in the global community, including among superpowers.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke to The Associated Press ahead of this week’s annual United Nations gathering of world leaders — a convening blemished by COVID, climate concerns and contentiousness across the planet, The Washington Post reported.

The Cold War between the Soviet Union and its East bloc allies and the United States and its Western allies began immediately after World War II and ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Guterres said the world’s two major economic powers should be cooperating on climate and negotiating more robustly on trade and technology even given persisting political fissures about human rights, economics, online security and sovereignty in the South China Sea.

"Unfortunately we have a confrontation today. We need to re-establish a functional relationship between the two powers" the UN secretary-general was quoted as saying by the publication.

“We need to avoid at all cost a Cold War that would be different from the past one, and probably more dangerous and more difficult to manage,” Guterres said.

He said the US-Britain deal to give Australia nuclear-powered submarines so it could operate undetected in Asia “is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle … this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States.”

The secretly negotiated deal angered France, which had signed a contract with Australia worth at least $66 billion for a dozen French conventional diesel-electric submarines.

In the interview, the secretary-general also addressed Afghanistan’s uncertain future under its new Taliban rulers, who took power August 15 from the government’s US-trained army as American forces were in the final stage of withdrawing from the country after 20 years.

To a question about the UN's role in the new Afghanistan, Guterres called it “a fantasy” to believe that UN involvement “will be able all of a sudden to produce an inclusive government, to guarantee that all human rights are respected, to guarantee that no terrorists will ever exist in Afghanistan, that drug trafficking will stop.”