China’s defense minister on Sunday accused the United States of trying to “hijack” support from Asia-Pacific countries to turn it against Beijing and said Washington was trying to advance its own interests “under the guise of multilateralism.” .
Defense Secretary General Wei Fenghe lashed out at US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, dismissing his “slanderous accusation” at the Shangri-La Dialogue the previous day that China was using its claim to the self-governing island of Taiwan and its “destabilizing military activities” in the region.
Austin had stressed the need for multilateral partnerships with Indo-Pacific nations, which Wei said was an attempt to corner China.
“No country should impose its will on others or harass others under the guise of multilateralism,” he said. “The strategy is an attempt to build an exclusive small group in the name of a free and open Indo-Pacific to hijack countries in our region and target a specific country – it is a strategy to create conflict and confrontation to contain others and encircle. ”
China has rapidly modernized its military and sought to expand its influence and ambitions in the region. It recently signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands that many fear could result in a Chinese naval base in the Pacific, and last week broke ground on a naval port expansion project in Cambodia that will give Beijing a foothold in the Gulf of Thailand could.
Last year US officials accused China of testing a hypersonic missile, a weapon harder for missile defense systems to counter, but China insisted it was a “routine test of a spacecraft”.
Answering a question about the test on Sunday, Wei came closest to finding that it was indeed a hypersonic missile, saying, “As far as hypersonic weapons go, many countries are developing weapons, and I think it’s no surprise that.” China does this.”
“China will expand its military,” he added. “I think it’s natural.”
Rising reports from Bangkok. Zen Soo in Hong Kong and Caroline Chen in Beijing contributed to this report.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.
https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/06/12/china-accuses-us-of-trying-to-hijack-support-in-asia/ China accuses the US of trying to ‘hijack’ support in Asia.