Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe Says Relations with US are at a Critical Point

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe Says Relations with US are at a Critical Point
China's Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe

International Military - China's Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said that Beijing's relations with Washington were at a critical point. He also said it was up to the United States to improve bilateral relations.

Repeatedly telling Asian security meetings in Singapore that China seeks only peace and stability not an aggressor, he called on the US to strengthen solidarity and oppose confrontation and division.

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He said China resolutely rejected U.S. blasphemy, accusations and even threats in U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's speech on Saturday. "We ask the US side to stop smearing and containing China. Stop interfering in China's internal affairs.

Bilateral relations cannot improve unless the US side can do that," Wei, who wore the uniform of a general in the People's Liberation Army, told the Shangri-La Dialogue as quoted by US News, Sunday (12/6/2022).

Earlier on Saturday Austin said there had been an "alarming" increase in the number of unsafe and unprofessional encounters between Chinese planes and ships and other countries.

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He added that the US would support its allies, including Taiwan. Russia's invasion of Ukraine had been the center of attention at the meeting, and Wei reiterated that China supports peace talks and opposes arms supply, applying maximum pressure.

“What is the root cause of this crisis? Who is the mastermind behind this? Who is most harmed? And who will benefit the most? Who promotes peace and who adds fuel to the fire? I think we all know the answers to these questions," he said, without discussing or stating China's position.

In a video-linked address on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned delegates that an invasion of Ukraine threatens the rules-based order and puts the whole world in danger of starvation and a food crisis.

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Russia has called its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" that it says was designed not to occupy territory but to destroy the military capabilities of its southern neighbor and capture what it considers dangerous nationalist groups.

Addressing the Taiwan issue, Wei said China's position on the island, which Beijing views as a province, had not changed. He said the Chinese government was seeking "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan but reserved "other options". "China will definitely realize its reunification," said Wei.

"Those who pursue Taiwan independence in an attempt to divide China will definitely not end well," he added. On the occasion he also noted that China has contributed to global efforts to combat COVID-19, and the country's efforts to develop the South China Sea are carried out peacefully. "Countries big and small, weak or strong, are all the same," he said. "We must respect each other and treat each other equally," he concluded.

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