At the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly last week, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the United States and China to shun a new Cold War.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a video meeting with the UN chief on Monday to briefly outline the state of Sino-US relations from China's perspective, stressing that it is clear which country is in the right and which country is in the wrong.
As Wang said, China has no choice but to firmly oppose the attempts by the US to curtail its development, so as to safeguard its national sovereignty, core interests and the legitimate right of the Chinese people to pursue a better life. In the process, China always abides by the basic norms governing international relations, upholds international equity and justice, and safeguards the common interests of developing countries.
In the latest demonstration of this, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a global development initiative in his speech at the general debate to strengthen international cooperation to realize the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
That Guterres spoke highly of Xi's proposal, China's support for multilateralism and for the UN as a leader in global development, as well as the leading role it plays in major global agendas, demonstrates the world body's recognition of China's contribution to world peace and stability.
Guterres said that the UN is willing to work closely with China to uphold and practice multilateralism, advocate international relations based on mutual respect, and jointly respond to global challenges.
The onus is on the US side to mend its ways. Although the Joe Biden administration said it does not want confrontation or a Cold War and hopes that bilateral relations can return to the right track, those words need translating into concrete actions.
And not the sort of actions it is engaging in at the moment. The US is holding a trade meeting with the European Union on Wednesday and Thursday to resolve the shortage of semiconductors－which ironically originates from Washington blocking chips flowing to China and its divisive efforts to fragment the global supply chains. US politicians have made it clear that a key objective of the meeting is to isolate China from the chip alliance they are building.
And last week, the US closed ranks with Australia, India and Japan by hosting a summit of the so-called Quad with the expressed aim of containing China in the Indo-Pacific. Prior to the summit, the US announced a new security alliance with Australia and the United Kingdom to support its Indo-Pacific strategy. On Monday, an escort vessel of the UK's HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group sailed through the Taiwan Straits in a high profile debut for AUKUS.
The US knows what to do to avoid its competition with China from veering into conflict. But it simply chooses to do the opposite, leaving China no choice but to safeguard its national sovereignty, core interests and development rights.
It is the US whose behavior is out of order, not China. The Biden administration should heed the UN chief's call by matching its words with deeds.