Biden vows diplomacy, unity in U.N. speech

U.S. President Joe Biden mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without war in his first United Nations address on Tuesday, a sharp departure from the America-first policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

"We will lead on all the greatest challenges of our time, from COVID to climate, peace and security, human dignity and human rights. But we will not go it alone. We will lead together with our allies and partners and in cooperation with all those who believe as we do that this is within our power to meet these challenges."

Biden said he will work to double the United States' financial commitment on climate aid and spend $10 billion to fight hunger.

While he didn't address China directly, Biden made implicit references to Beijing, as the U.S. butts heads with China over trade and human rights issues.

He said the United States will compete vigorously, economically and push democratic systems and rule of law.

"We'll stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technical exploitation or disinformation, but we're not seeking - I'll say it again, we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs," he said.

Biden came to the United Nations facing criticism at home and abroad for a hasty U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that left some Americans and Afghan allies still in that country and struggling to get out.

His vow for allied unity is being tested by a three-way agreement between the United States, Australia and Britain that undermined a French submarine deal and left France feeling stabbed in the back.

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