War with the US would be an unimaginable calamity, according to China’s defense minister, Li Shangfu
In his first significant address since taking the position, China’s defense minister declared that a war with the US would be a “unbearable disaster” for the entire globe.
General Li Shangfu claimed “some countries” were escalating the arms race in Asia at a security forum.
However, he asserted that both China and the US should look for areas of agreement because the world was large enough for both of them.
Prior to this, the US accused China of making “unsafe” maneuvers in close proximity to a US warship in the Taiwan Strait.
During its transit of the Taiwan Strait with Canadian ships on Saturday, the US navy claimed a Chinese destroyer maneuvered “in an unsafe manner” close to an American cruiser.
Both nations received criticism from China for “deliberately provoking risk”. The US and Canada claimed that they were sailing within the bounds of international law.
Gen. Li, who was appointed defense minister in March, claimed that the US was still operating with a “Cold War mentality,” which was “greatly increasing security risks.”
In his speech, he stated that China will not permit naval patrols by the US and its allies to serve as “a pretext to exercise hegemony of navigation”.
When questioned about the events in the Taiwan Strait, he only mentioned that nations outside the area were escalating tensions.
The only annual security conference for the Asia-Pacific area, the Shangri-La Dialogue, was taking place when he spoke there.
Beijing has refused a US proposal for direct military negotiations in opposition to the sanctions the US imposed on Gen Li in 2018 over his acquisition of weaponry from Russia.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin chastised China during the Singapore meeting for refusing to engage in military talks.
China is charged with hacking significant US bases on Guam.
The US-caught paradise islands-China crosshairs Gen Austin and Gen Li shook hands and chatted briefly at the event’s inaugural supper on Friday, according to sources, but there was no in-depth conversation.
The lifting of US sanctions against Gen Li, according to one of China’s delegates, was a must for talks, AFP said.
According to Reuters, senior intelligence officials were present for the Singapore summit’s gathering of spy heads.
A senior member of the US state department has arrived in Beijing for a week of extensive talks despite the diplomatic row.
Recent years have seen a deterioration in relations between Washington and Beijing due to a number of issues, including China’s claim to Taiwan and territorial conflicts in the South China Sea.