China is becoming more ‘coercive and aggressive:’ U.S. defense chief
China holds a combat drill at the East China Sea.
AFP | Getty Images
U.S. Defense secretary Lloyd Austin stated that the United States would do all it can to prevent conflicts with China, despite Beijing’s increasing aggression in the Asia region, including Taiwan.
Recent tensions between China and America have intensified in recent months. The two world’s largest economies are at odds over issues such as Taiwan’s human rights record and China’s military activities in South China Sea.
Austin and Wei Fenghe the Chinese Defense Minister met Friday. Both sides stated that they wanted to improve their relationship, but there wasn’t any sign of a breakthrough.
Austin addressed the Shangri-La Dialogue in Asia, Asia’s most important security gathering. He stated that the United States will continue to support its allies including Taiwan.
He said, “This is especially important because the PRC (People’s Republic of China), adopts a coercive approach to its territory claims.”
China asserts Taiwan is its self-rule and vows to take forceful measures if needed. Austin claimed that the “alarming increase” in unsafe and unprofessional encounters involving Chinese planes or vessels and those from other nations has led to an increase in these incidents.
An Australian fighter jet was dangerously attacked by a Chinese fighter, and Canada’s military accused Chinese warplanes. They were intercepting a surveillance plane from Australia in the South China Sea Region in May.
Taiwan is fed up with repeated Chinese air force incursions into its air defense identification area, which it does not consider to be territorial but is a larger area where it tracks for threats. Austin claimed that the number of incursions has increased over recent months.
On Friday, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked the United States for their assistance and deplored China’s “absurd” claims to its sovereignty.
Joanne Ou spokeswoman for the ministry.
Austin stated that the United States would oppose unilateral changes to Taiwan’s status quo. Our policy has not changed. Austin explained that “Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case for the PRC.”
But he said: “We will do our part in managing these tensions responsibly. To prevent conflict. And to pursue peace.
Biden claimed last month that the United States would intervene militarily in the event of China attacking Taiwan. The administration however has clarified that its policy has not changed. Washington has long maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity regarding its willingness to defend Taiwan. Austin and Wei were primarily focused on Taiwan during their meeting.
It’s not just in the U.S. interests to maintain peace and stability at Taiwan Strait. Austin explained that this is a matter of international concern.
There is no Asian NATO
Austin made a speech about America’s commitment in the region and said that the United States will continue its presence there, but Washington understands the importance of preventing conflict.
We do not want conflict or confrontation. He said that he did not want a new Cold War or an Asian NATO.
Austin also mentioned Russia’s invading Ukraine over three months. This has been Washington’s priority.
Austin stated that Russia’s invasion in Ukraine was a sign of what happens when oppressors violate the rules protecting us all. This is a glimpse of what could happen if oppressors continue to trample the rules that protect us all,” Austin said.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine was due to speak at the Shangri-La Dialogue during a virtual session on Saturday.
Washington declared earlier in the year that China seemed ready to assist Russia in its war with Ukraine. However, U.S. officials stated that while they are still concerned about China’s support of Russia over the long term, they have not seen any significant economic or military support from China.
Separately, Nobuo Kishi (Japan Defense Minister) stated that military cooperation between Russia and China has increased security concerns within the region.
He stated that “joint military operations among these two powerful military powers will undoubtedly raise concern among other nations.”
China did not condemn Russia’s aggression and has not called it an invasion. However, they have urged for a negotiated resolution. Since 2002, Beijing and Moscow are closer than ever. In February, they signed an extensive strategic partnership that aimed to combat U.S. influences and stated that there would be no “forbidden” areas for cooperation.