In what appeared to be a thinly veiled dig at the USA, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu has warned against forming NATO-like alliances in the Asia-Pacific, which he said is fraught with consequences for the region.
The USA currently remains a member of a spate of alliances and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific, including AUKUS with Australia and Great Britain, QUAD with Canberra, Delhi and Tokyo, as well as the SPEF, which includes 13 other Asian member states.
During the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore, Li argued that in essence, to push for such alliances in the region is a way of kidnapping regional countries and fueling confrontation, which will only plunge the Asia-Pacific into a whirlpool of disputes and conflicts.
Today’s Asia-Pacific needs open and inclusive cooperation, not buddying up into small cliques. We must not forget the severe disasters brought by the two world wars to the peoples of all countries, and we must not allow such a tragic history to repeat itself.
The Chinese defense minister also accused some countries of intensifying an arms race and interfering in the internal affairs of other nations.
The Chinese defense chief did not explicitly name any country but he appeared to be referring to the USA, which is currently part of several alliances and partnerships across the region.
Li’s remarks come after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Shangri-La Dialogue that his country is not trying to create a NATO-like alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.
This was preceded by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that a military pact signed last week by the USA and Papua New Guinea will provide Washington with a foothold in the South Pacific and allow America to continue militarizing the Asia-Pacific region.
In the meantime, America remains a member of the AUKUS alliance, which groups the country with Australia and the UK. The USA is also a member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) with Australia, India and Japan.
On top of that, Washington is part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) initiative, which was established in May 2022 and now includes 13 other members, such as Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.