HomeLatest NewsChina ‘won’t allow war, chaos’ in Asia-Pacific

China ‘won’t allow war, chaos’ in Asia-Pacific

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SINGAPORE: China will not allow any country or force to create war or chaos in the Asia-Pacific, its defence minister said, warning that there were “limits” to Beijing’s restraint on the South China Sea and over the deployment of ballistic missiles in the region.

In a keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, AFP quoted Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun as saying: “China has maintained sufficient restraint in the face of rights infringements and provocation, but there are limits to this”.

The Philippines and the United States are longstanding treaty allies, and Manila is a key focus of Washington’s efforts to strengthen alliances and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, which has enraged Beijing.

Given its position in the South China Sea and proximity to Taiwan, which China claims as its own, Philippine support would be crucial for the US in the event of any conflict.

Defence minister warns of limits to China’s patience over provocations such as the deployment of ballistic missiles in Philippines

The deployment of “medium-range ballistic missiles” was “severely damaging regional security and stability”, Dong said.

“Acting in this way will ultimately burn oneself.” Dong also warned of “limits” to Beijing’s restraint on the South China Sea, following a series of confrontations bet­ween Chinese and Philippine vessels near disputed reefs.

China Coast Guard vessels have used water cannon against Philippine boats multiple times in the contested waters. There have also been collisions that injured several Filipino troops.

No place for ‘small yard with high fences’

According to China Daily, the defence chief said that in the face of common security challenges, no country can remain unaffected, and there is no such thing as absolute security or exclusive security, noting that there is a long-standing tradition of “helping neighbours in need”.

“We do not allow hegemon-ism and power politics to harm the Asia-Pacific region, we do not allow geopolitical conflicts or cold and hot wars in the region, and we do not allow any country or force to create war and chaos here,” he said.

He said that building “a small yard with high fences” has no place in the Asia-Pacific region.

“People yearn for unity, cooperation and a peaceful life, and the military forces of various countries need to protect this aspiration,” Dong added.

Committed to Taiwan reunification

Talking about Taiwan, Dong said Taiwan was the “core of core issues” for China, but Taiwan’s ruling Demo­cratic Progressive Party is incrementally pursuing separatism and bent on erasing Chinese identity.

“Those separatists recently made fanatical statements that show their betrayal of the Chinese nation and their ancestors. They will be nailed to the pillar of shame in history,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

He accused foreign powers of interfering in “domestic issues”, and “emboldening Taiwan separatists”.

Dong added that while China was committed to peaceful reunification with Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army “will remain a strong force for upholding national reunification”.

“We will take resolute actions to curb Taiwan independence and make sure such a plot never succeeds,” he said.

This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue comes a week after China held military drills around self-ruled Taiwan and warned of war over the US-backed island following the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te, who Beijing has described as a “dangerous separatist”. AFP

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