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China's Xi warns of 'clash of civilizations' in UN speech

China's Xi warns of 'clash of civilizations' in UN speech
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Chinese President Xi Jinping warned of a "clash of civilizations" as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world during a United Nations speech Tuesday.

The Guardian reported Xi said in a prerecorded address that the world must "oppose politicization and stigmatization" over COVID-19, urging global leaders to embrace the "concept of a big family ... and avoid falling into the trap of a clash of civilizations."

His opening address came after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE blasted China in an earlier address to the assembly, blaming Beijing for the U.S. death toll of nearly 200,000 due to the virus as well as the 1 million people who have died around the world.

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Trump has regularly said China should be held "accountable" for the coronavirus outbreak, and U.S. officials have said Wuhan initially hid information about the coronavirus from the central Chinese government for fear of reprisal.

The U.S. has also called out Beijing over its active pursuit of control in the South China Sea and its recent moves to squash democracy movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Xi told world leaders Tuesday that the People's Republic of China had no desire for "hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence."

"China has no intention to enter a Cold War with any country," he said, insisting Beijing is instead a bulwark of international systems such as the World Trade Organization and a willing partner in the face of diplomatic spats.

“We insist on dialogue to bridge differences and negotiation to resolve disputes,” Xi added.

China and the U.S. have been at odds over significant issues such as the origin of the virus, tech and trade dominion, and national security disputes.

Trump often criticizes Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE over his past relations with China, and a spokesperson from the president's campaign said it would "be pushing Biden on his China trade record aggressively in the coming weeks."