Biden addresses the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City on September 19, 2023. Image Credit: REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS: President Joe Biden told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the United States sought to “responsibly manage” its rivalry with China to avoid any possible war.

“When it comes to China, I want to be clear and consistent. We seek to responsibly manage the competition between our countries so it does not tip into conflict,” Biden said in a speech.

Biden appealed to world leaders to stand with Ukraine against Russia, hoping Republicans in Congress will also take notice.

“Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence,” Biden said in his speech to UNGA. “If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” Biden drew applause when saying that the United States and its allies would stand with Ukraine’s fight for freedom. “Russia alone bears responsibility for this war,” the president said.

“Russia alone has the power to end this war immediately.”

Biden’s address at the annual gathering was the centerpiece event of his three-day visit to New York, which will include meetings with the heads of five Central Asian nations, and the leaders of Israel and Brazil.

Biden, a Democrat, has made rallying US allies to support Ukraine a leading component of US foreign policy, arguing the world must send a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will not be able to outlast the West.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky applauds Biden along with his Ukrainian delegation and the US delegation including United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City. Image Credit: Reuters

Citicism from some Republicans

Biden has faced criticism from some Republicans who want the United States to spend less money on the war effort.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who attended and applauded Biden’s remarks ahead of his own speech at UNGA on Tuesday, was expected to visit Biden at the White House on Thursday and to meet some congressional leaders as well.

The United States is preparing a new military aid package for Ukraine to coincide with Zelenskiy’s visit, and Congress has been asked to approve billions of dollars more in security assistance for the rest of the year.

“We have confidence that there will be bipartisan support for this. I think President Zelensky does as well,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.

After his speech, Biden was due to sit down with Guterres to discuss world hot spots.

Later, he will attend a summit with the presidents of five Central Asian nations, a first. They are Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

On Wednesday, Biden will meet Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and join him in an event with labor leaders from Brazil and the United States.

Also on Wednesday, Biden will have his first face-to-face meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Netanyahu regained power last December.

Sullivan said they would discuss “a vision for a more stable and prosperous and integrated region, as well as to compare notes on effectively countering and deterring Iran.”