SINGAPORE – The Chinese delegation on Saturday rejected US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's unfounded accusations against China at the Shangri-La Dialogue, saying "leadership" does not imply hegemony, status is determined by acts, and actions speak louder than words.
Lieutenant General Jing Jianfeng, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission, told a press conference that by peddling the so-called "Indo-Pacific strategy," Washington is attempting to maintain its hegemony.
Although the Cold War ended 32 years ago, the United States has not removed residues of the Cold War, such as the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and bilateral military alliance. Instead, it has escalated bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation by launching the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and trilateral security partnerships.
"To pursue its selfish interests, the United States has coaxed and coerced some countries into acting as a pawn with the fundamental aim of maintaining its hegemonic system, regardless of the aspiration for stability and order by regional countries," he said.
Regarding the Taiwan question, Jing strongly refuted the recent US remarks on Taiwan for ignoring facts and distorting the truth.
The United States has continuously weakened and hollowed out the one-China principle, strengthened the so-called official exchanges with Taiwan and condoned "Taiwan independence" activities, said Lieutenant General Jing Jianfeng, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission
The United States has continuously weakened and hollowed out the one-China principle, strengthened the so-called official exchanges with Taiwan and condoned "Taiwan independence" activities, he said.
The United States has also increased arms sales to Taiwan in both quality and quantity, frequently sailed through the Taiwan Strait to flex its muscles, and ganged up with other countries to intervene in the Taiwan question, Jing said.
He emphasized that China's military operations around the Taiwan Strait are targeted at "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and the interference of external forces, and are justified.
The general added that China cannot be blamed for changing the status quo, as the US "exploiting Taiwan to contain China" and "Taiwan independence" separatists relying on external forces are the real factors causing changes in the status quo, exacerbating tensions and undermining the stability.
Noting that the Taiwan question concerns China's core interests and brooks no compromise, he said that the Chinese People's Liberation Army is fully prepared and ready to firmly defend China's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.
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Jing said that in recent years, the United States has continued to interfere in the South China Sea issue, and taken it as an excuse to suppress other countries.
This is completely contrary to the will and efforts of regional countries to seek peace, pursue development and promote stability, he said.
Jing stressed that China advocates a peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea, adding that regional countries have the ability, confidence and wisdom to deal with the issue, and there is no room for interference from countries outside the region.
He said that the United States is the real mastermind behind tension in the South China Sea.
In recent years, the US side has been sending warships and military aircraft to the South China Sea to provoke troubles under the so-called "freedom of navigation," he said.
The United States has also intensified its efforts to increase temporary and rotational deployment, establish additional military bases, and continue to strengthen its military presence in the South China Sea, Jing said.
"By doing so, the United States will only cause more security risks and increase the potential for crisis," he said.
Concerning an incident over the South China Sea, in which the US side claimed that a Chinese fighter jet conducted an "unnecessarily aggressive maneuver," Jing said the move was carried out lawfully and professionally, and was only conducted after a US reconnaissance plane deliberately intruded into a PLA naval routine training exercise.
China values the development of China-US military relations, and exchanges between the two militaries have not been interrupted, the Chinese general said, adding that the United States should be blamed for current obstacles to the development of the relations.
It will not work if the United States appeals for communication while undermining China's interests, and claims to strengthen crisis management while continuing its provocations, Jing said.
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China urges the United States to earnestly respect China's core interests and major concerns, take concrete actions to remove obstacles to military-to-military exchanges, and bring relations between the two militaries back on the right track, Jing noted.
Calling the Shangri-La Dialogue a platform for peace topics, not a hegemony show-off, Jing said China comes for peace, development and cooperation, while the United States clearly aims for promoting its "leadership," smearing and suppressing others, and preserving its hegemony.
Countries that adhere to strategic independence and peaceful development will not follow the US steps into the old path of bloc confrontation, he said.