China raps US in­ter­ven­tions in Asia

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BEI­JING rapped Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day for its in­ter­ven­tions in Asia, as ten­sions grow be­tween the two pow­ers over ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes in the South China Sea and how to han­dle in­creas­ingly er­ratic North Korea.

Speak­ing at the 7th an­nual Xiang­shan re­gional de­fence fo­rum in Bei­jing, Chang Wan­guan, China’s de­fence min­is­ter, levied thinly veiled crit­i­cism at re­cent US in­volve­ment in Asia’s trou­ble spots.

Wash­ing­ton has con­ducted free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion op­er­a­tions close to ar­ti­fi­cial is­lands Bei­jing has built in the South China Sea, and has agreed to de­ploy a mis­sile de­fence sys­tem in South Korea fol­low­ing re­peated nu­clear and mis­sile tests by Bei­jing’s ally Py­ongyang.

“Some coun­tries seek ab­so­lute mil­i­tary su­pe­ri­or­ity, cease­lessly strengthen their mil­i­tary al­liances, and seek their own ab­so­lute se­cu­rity at the costs of other coun­tries’ se­cu­rity,” Mr Chang told de­fence of­fi­cials and aca­demics at the meet­ing.

The US un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has sought to “pivot” to Asia by in­creas­ing mil­i­tary and eco­nomic en­gage­ment in the re­gion, rais­ing con­cerns in Bei­jing that Wash­ing­ton is work­ing to con­tain the Asian gi­ant’s grow­ing power.

Yes­ter­day’s meet­ing – themed on “build­ing a new type of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions” – fol­lowed a year of grow­ing ten­sion in the re­gion, pri­mar­ily cen­tred on Bei­jing’s ac­tions in the strate­gi­cally vi­tal South China Sea, where it has built is­lands ca­pa­ble of sup­port­ing mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties.

China says it has rights to al­most the en­tire re­gion, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philip­pines and Viet­nam, and Tai­wan all have ri­val claims.

In July, an in­ter­na­tional tri­bunal said that al­most all of Bei­jing’s claims have no le­gal ba­sis, a de­ci­sion China at­tacked as bi­ased and vowed to ig­nore.

Ad­dress­ing the fo­rum, for­mer Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Robert Hawke warned that the dis­putes, if not prop­erly man­aged, could be­come “a flash­point for US-China con­flict”.

China has also raised con­cerns over Wash­ing­ton and Seoul’s de­ci­sion this sum­mer to in­stall a THAAD mis­sile de­fence sys­tem in South Korea in re­sponse to grow­ing wor­ries about its north­ern neigh­bour’s nu­clear pro­gram.

Bei­jing, Py­ongyang’s sole ally and largest trade part­ner, claims the move will desta­bilise re­gional se­cu­rity, a po­si­tion that is sup­ported by Moscow.

Speak­ing on a panel dur­ing the fo­rum, Rus­sian deputy de­fence min­is­ter Ana­toly Antonov slammed the agree­ment say­ing, “We are con­cerned about the at­tempts of cer­tain na­tions to exploit the com­plex sit­u­a­tion in the Korean penin­sula by pump­ing this sub-re­gion with clearly ex­ces­sive de­fence ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

The de­ci­sion has “ag­gra­vated ten­sion” and “adds prob­lems to solv­ing the sit­u­a­tion” he said. –

Photo: EPA

Chang Wan­guan slams US in­volve­ment in Asia’s trou­ble spots.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.