During a recent United Nations Security Council meeting, Chinese and Russian officials took aim at the United States, among other countries, on the topic of multilateralism — and the U.S. responded in kind.
Multilateralism is a geopolitical term generally referring to nations that work together toward a common end.
“A regression in history”
According to the Washington Examiner, China led the meeting, with Wang Yi, its foreign minister, using the opportunity to take several shots at U.S. leadership and policies.
“I’m sure that all countries would be glad to see the United States changing course and make a real contribution to practicing multilateralism,” Wang said.
At another point in his remarks, he accused America of seeking “supremacy” while failing to respect the “unique history and culture” of foreign nations.
“Splitting the world along the ideological line conflicts with a spirit of multilateralism and is a regression in history,” Wang added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also joined in the conversation with his criticism directed toward the United States and its allies.
“A new special interests club”
“Leading Western countries are now trying to roll back the process of establishing a multipolar, polycentric world and trying to restrain the course of history,” he asserted. “The American administration is calling for creating a new special interests club on an openly ideologized basis, [which] could further exacerbate international tension and draw dividing lines in the world.”
Of course, judging from the behavior of both China and Russia, their remarks about America’s policies might be seen as laughable. For his part, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken seemed to call out both nations in his remarks.
“A foundational unit of the United Nations, from the first sentence of this charger, is not just the nation-state — it’s also the human being,” he asserted. “Some argue that what governments do within their own borders is their own business. … Asserting domestic jurisdiction doesn’t give any state a blank check to enslave, torture, disappear, ethnically cleanse their people, or violate their human rights in any other way.”
Blinken went on to note that the U.N. “is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of its member states” and that nations do not “respect that principle when it purports to redraw the borders of another, or seeks to resolve territorial disputes by using or threatening force, or when a state claims it’s entitled to a sphere of influence to dictate or coerce the choices and decisions of another country.”
Although he did not specifically mention either China or Russia, it appeared clear that he had them in mind during his pointed comments.