Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu warned that the conflict with the US would be an “unbearable disaster” for the world, as Washington accused the People’s Liberation Army of being responsible for a second “unsafe” incident in a week.
Speaking at Asia’s top security summit, Li Shangfu, dressed in the uniform of a PLA general, said the world was big enough for China and the United States to grow together.
“China and the US have different systems and they are different in many other ways,” he said in a speech that marked his first major international speech since he was appointed China’s national defense minister in March.
“However, this should not prevent the two sides from seeking common ground and common interests to grow bilateral ties and deepen cooperation,” he said.
“It is undeniable that a severe conflict or confrontation between China and the United States will be an unbearable disaster for the world.”
Speaking at Asia’s top security summit, Li Shangfu, dressed in the uniform of a PLA general, said the world was big enough for China and the US to grow together.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (pictured) rebuked China in a speech at the security meeting in Singapore on Saturday for refusing to hold military talks, leaving the superpowers bogged down over their differences.
Ties between Washington and Beijing are highly strained over a variety of issues, including Taiwan’s democratic government, territorial disputes in the South China Sea and President Joe Biden’s restrictions on semiconductor chip exports.
In their latest spat, China’s military criticized the United States and Canada for “deliberately causing risk” after the countries’ navies staged a rare joint sailing through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Saturday.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin rebuked China in a speech at the security meeting in Singapore on Saturday for refusing to hold military talks, leaving the superpowers deadlocked over their differences.
Li was more restrained in his speech, though he lightly attacked the United States, accusing “some countries” of escalating an arms race and deliberately interfering in the internal affairs of others.
“Now a Cold War mentality is resurfacing, greatly increasing security risks,” he said. ‘Mutual respect must prevail over bullying and hegemony.’
Li, who was sanctioned by the United States in 2018 for arms purchases from Russia, shook hands with Austin at a dinner on Friday, but the two have not had a deeper discussion, despite repeated US demands for more exchanges. military.
Speaking privately on the sidelines of the conference, two Chinese military officials said Beijing wanted clear signals from Washington of a less confrontational approach in Asia, including the removal of sanctions against Li, before intermilitary talks could resume.
Meanwhile, a Chinese ship maneuvered in an “unsafe manner” near a US destroyer transiting the sensitive strait, the US military said on Saturday.
It is the second close encounter between US and Chinese military assets in less than 10 days, following what the US military said was an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” by one of Beijing’s fighters near one of the surveillance planes. from Washington last week.
The Chinese ship “executed unsafe maneuvers in the vicinity of Chung-Hoon,” a US destroyer, during transit on Saturday, the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) said in a statement.
The Beijing ship’ caught up with Chung-Hoon on her port side and crossed her bow at 150 yards. Chung-Hoon maintained course and slowed to 10 (knots) to avoid a collision,” the statement said.
It then “crossed Chung-Hoon’s bow a second time from starboard to port at 2,000 yards (meters) and remained well outside Chung-Hoon’s port bow,” coming within 150 yards at the nearest point, the army said. The US flies, sails and operates safely and responsibly anywhere international law allows.’
US warships frequently navigate the strait. The last joint passage between the United States and Canada was in September 2022.
The ship’s encounter in the Taiwan Strait followed what the US military characterized as a risky maneuver by a Chinese plane that “flew directly in front of and within 400 feet of the nose” of an RC-135 surveillance plane on 26 September. May over the South China Sea.