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Chinese Defense Minister warns of “unbearable disaster” if US-China conflict arises

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu before his speech in Singapore

NOS News

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu has called any confrontation with the US an “unbearable disaster”. “There is no denying that a serious conflict or confrontation between China and the US will be an unbearable disaster for the world,” he said at Asia’s highest security summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue, to be held in Singapore.

In an extended speech, Li reiterated many of Beijing’s well-known positions, including the claim to Taiwan, which he called nationally important to China. He accused the US and others of “interfering in China’s internal affairs” by providing defense aid to Taiwan and making high-level diplomatic visits, citing the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month. year August.

Li said his country prefers dialogue to confrontation. According to him, the world is big enough for China and the US to grow together and the two countries can function well side by side. “China and the US have different systems and many other differences,” the minister said in his first major speech since being appointed in March.

Jackals and wolves

The Chinese defense minister did, however, issue a warning to the US. “As the lyrics of a famous Chinese song say: ‘When friends visit us, we welcome them with good wine. When jackals or wolves come, we will meet them with shotguns’.”

Li also said bluntly that the US should mind its own business when asked about an incident in which a Chinese fighter jet flew in front of a US plane.

“The best course of action for countries is not to carry out actions with naval vessels and fighter jets around the territory of other countries,” he said through an interpreter. “What’s the point of going there? In China, we always say mind your own business.”

‘Mind your own business’

The reason for Li’s statements is the friction with the US in the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial border between Taiwan and China. For example, Chinese ships more often cross the median line, which is seen as a provocation in Taiwan. Beijing, in turn, sees the presence of American ships in that area as a provocation.

This was also evident yesterday when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned of the consequences of a conflict over Taiwan. “Make no mistake, a conflict in the Taiwan Strait would be devastating,” Austin warned.

Nevertheless, according to Li, common grounds and interests must be found. “To strengthen bilateral ties and deepen cooperation,” he added.


There was supposed to be a talk between the two defense ministers during the Singapore summit, but that was said to have been turned down by Li. There was, however, a brief handshake last Friday. A poor alternative, the American thought. “A cordial handshake during a dinner is no substitute for a substantive discussion.”

Last night the US reported that a Chinese ship in the Taiwan Strait passed a US destroyer at a distance of about 140 meters. The US Navy spoke of a dangerous situation.

Li defended the Chinese ship’s action, saying international freedom of navigation should never be an excuse for US show of force in the Taiwan Strait.

2023-06-04 06:48:20
#Chinese #defense #minister #Mind #business

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