Antonio Guterres said this in an interview with the Associated Press, noting that the Cold War should be avoided, despite relations between the countries.
Warning of a possible new Cold War, the United Nations chief asked China and the United States to restore their “absolutely dysfunctional” relations before the problems between the two large and influential countries spread to the rest of the world.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the Associated Press on the eve of the annual meeting of world leaders of the United Nations General Assembly, which will take place tomorrow, September 21.
Guterres said the two world’s major economies should work together on climate issues and negotiate more resolutely on trade and technology, even in the face of persistent political differences over human rights, the economy, Internet security and sovereignty in the South China Sea.
He noted that competing geopolitical and military strategies pose a “danger” and could divide the world. Thus, he said, relations should be restored as soon as possible.
“We must at all costs avoid the Cold War, which would be different from the previous one and would probably be more dangerous and difficult to manage,” Guterres said.
The head of the UN noted that the danger of a new “cold war” lies in the fact that in relations between the USSR and the United States antipathy has established clear rules and both sides were aware of the risk of nuclear intervention. Instead, it is now increasingly blurred, and the experience that existed in the past to manage the crisis is no longer relevant.
Antonio Guterres also noted that the agreement between the United States and Britain on the supply of nuclear submarines to Australia “is just a small piece of a more complex puzzle … of a completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States.”