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Biden Criticizes Iran and China on Human Rights and Security Issues

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In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, President Biden criticized the governments of Iran and China for his or her human rights records, while vowing that the USA would all the time rise up for those rights.

Alluding to the protests which have erupted in Iran over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by the country’s morality police last week allegedly for violating dress codes, Mr. Biden said the USA stood with “the brave residents and brave women of Iran, who immediately are demonstrating to secure their basic rights.”

And with talks stalled on restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald J. Trump abandoned, Mr. Biden implicitly threatened to make use of force if mandatory to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but said that he wanted to stop conflict.

“We is not going to allow Iran to accumulate a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “I proceed to imagine diplomacy is the perfect strategy to achieve this end result.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, made his debut before the General Assembly, speaking in defiant terms that offered little hope of a fresh diplomatic breakthrough.

He criticized Israel as “an occupying savage power”; held up an image of the previous commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who was assassinated by the USA in Iraq; and, alluding to the nuclear deal, said Iran wanted to acquire what’s “fair and just” for itself.

The Biden administration views Iran as its best challenge within the Middle East, but Mr. Biden has signaled that he hopes to expend less diplomatic and military resources within the region to be able to deal with China and Russia.

Mr. Biden mentioned China several times in his speech, first when he said that nations must respect “freedom of navigation.” American officials use that phrase to border the threat that China’s military activities pose within the Asia-Pacific region. U.S. officials have been alarmed by the expansion of China’s military footprint within the South and East China Seas, by the activities of the Chinese Navy and Air Force around Taiwan and by the growing Chinese security presence within the Pacific.

China’s People’s Liberation Army fired missiles over Taiwan last month after the U.S. House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, visited the self-governing island, which China claims as its own. Several missiles landed in waters near Japan. China also had its navy perform exercises in nearby waters.

Mr. Biden insisted on Wednesday that the USA doesn’t need to escalate its rivalry with China. “As we manage shifting geopolitical trends, the USA will conduct itself as an inexpensive leader,” he said. “We don’t seek conflict. We don’t seek a Cold War.”

He said the USA wouldn’t ask other nations to choose from itself and a competitor, but asserted that Washington “will likely be unabashed in promoting” a vision of a free world.

Mr. Biden also said that the USA remained “committed to the One China policy,” which acknowledges China’s position on Taiwan but doesn’t endorse it. But Mr. Biden also told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday that while Taiwan makes its “own judgments” about independence, American troops would defend Taiwan within the event of an “unprecedented attack” by China.

Drilling down on his critique that Russia and China are undermining a worldwide order based on widely agreed upon rules, Mr. Biden called for reforms to the U.N. charter, including making the Security Council “more inclusive” by expanding its everlasting membership, which is now made up of Britain, China, France, Russia and the USA. American officials have supported the concept of adding Germany, India and Japan to the Council.

Moscow and Beijing have often vetoed resolutions supported by the Council’s three other everlasting members and far of the international community. Mr. Biden said in his speech that nations should refrain from Security Council vetoes “except in rare extraordinary situations to make sure the council stays credible and effective.”

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