World leaders have concluded a three-day virtual United Nations summit in an atmosphere of uncertainty, with the international community avoiding any major confrontation between them.
China was the main topic of discussion, as the US, EU, Russia and other major powers voiced concerns about the nation’s human rights record. However, after much discussion, no major resolutions were passed and the international community’s response was relatively measured. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reflected the consensus when he labelled China’s policies as “unacceptable” but stopped short of any intense criticism.
According to one diplomat, “exhaustion has set in” following the summit as member states had little time to reach a solid agreement on these sensitive matters. Earlier this week, China’s foreign minister argued that these issues should be discussed through dialogue and cooperation, and suggested the formation of an international coalition to counter threats such as terrorism and pandemics.
The international community did manage to pass a resolution calling for greater financial oversight of Beijing’s impact on global trade and the ability to challenge illegal Chinese subsidies.
Overall, the summit appeared to be a draw between the two sides, with Beijing emerging unscathed from the discussion. Despite China’s increasingly aggressive actions around the world, top international leaders seemed unwilling to risk escalating tensions.