Biden: US is not seeking new Cold War

US President Joe Biden has told the UN General Assembly that the United States will step up cooperation with allies to counter emerging threats, but that it is not seeking "a new Cold War."

Biden delivered his first speech as US president at the annual General Debate in New York on Tuesday.

Biden said the United States is turning its focus to the priorities and the regions of the world that are most consequential today, such as the Indo-Pacific. He said, "we'll do so with our allies and partners, through cooperation at multilateral institutions like the United Nations."

Biden apparently had China's assertive moves in mind. But he did not mention the country by name.

He said the United States will stand up for its "allies and friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technological exploitation, or disinformation."

But he added, "we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs." He also said that the United States is ready to work with any nation to tackle shared challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

The Biden administration recently launched a trilateral security framework with the UK and Australia. But a US-British offer to help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines has angered France, as a submarine contract that France had with Australia had to be canceled.

Biden stressed during the speech that the US is working with its allies toward a new strategic concept that will help them better take on evolving threats. He said the US has also renewed its "engagement with the European Union, a fundamental partner in tackling the full range of significant issues facing our world today."