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At UN, Biden promises 'relentless diplomacy,' defense of democracy

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the United Nations General Assembly via live stream in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. A scaled-back United Nations General Assembly returns to Manhattan after going completely virtual last year, but fears about a possible spike in Covid-19 cases are making people in the host city less enthusiastic about the annual diplomatic gathering. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Joe Biden speaks during the United Nations General Assembly via live stream in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. [Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

US President Joe Biden mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without a new Cold War despite China's ascendance during his first United Nations address on Tuesday, promising military restraint and a robust fight against climate change, Reuters reported.

The United States will help resolve crises from Iran to the Korean Peninsula to Ethiopia, Biden told the annual UN General Assembly gathering.

The world faces a "decisive decade," Biden said, one in which leaders must work together to combat a raging coronavirus pandemic, global climate change and cyber threats. He said the United States will double its financial commitment on climate aid and spend $10 billion to fight hunger.

READ: If Biden is cutting aid to Egypt over human rights violations, why doesn't he cut aid to Israel?

Biden did not ever say the words "China" or "Beijing" but sprinkled implicit references to America's increasingly powerful authoritarian competitor throughout his speech, as the two nations butt heads in the Indo-Pacific and on trade and human rights issues.

He said the United States will compete vigorously, both economically and to push democratic systems and rule of law.

"We'll stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technical exploitation or disinformation. But we're not seeking – I'll say it again – we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs," Biden said.

Biden came to the United Nations facing criticism at home and abroad for a chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan that left some Americans and Afghan allies still in that country and struggling to get out.

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AfghanistanAsia & AmericasInternational OrganisationsNewsUNUS
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