Sep 20, 2021 13:55 UTC
  • Guterres urges China, US to fix 'completely dysfunctional' relationship ahead of UN summit

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has voiced concern over another potential Cold War between the United States and China, urging the world’s two major economic powers to fix their “completely dysfunctional” relationship as soon as possible.

Guterres made the remarks on Monday in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of this week’s annual UN General Assembly gathering of world leaders in New York —a convening blemished by COVID, climate concerns and contentiousness across the planet.

Guterres said Washington and Beijing should cooperate over a range of issues, including climate, trade, technology, human rights, economics, online security and sovereignty in the South China Sea.

“Unfortunately, today we only have confrontation,” the UN chief said.

He also stressed that the two powers should re-establish a functional relationship before their problems spill over even further into the rest of the world, adding that it is “essential to address the problems of vaccination, the problems of climate change and many other global challenges that cannot be solved without constructive relations within the international community and mainly among the superpowers.”

Guterres further reiterated his warning that the world may split in two, with the United States and China creating rival internets, currency, trade, financial rules “and their own zero-sum geopolitical and military strategies.”

He added that two rival geopolitical and military strategies would pose “dangers” and divide the world, stressing the foundering relationship must be repaired soon.

“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, adding that a new war would be more perilous.