China’s military lashes out at US after breakthrough talks


BEIJING: China’s defence ministry lashed out at the United States on Thursday (Dec 28), a week after their top military officials resumed high-level talks, criticising its continued meddling in the Asia Pacific region and saying it maintained a “Cold War” mindset.

Both sides had pledged at the talks to work towards restoration of contacts to avert miscalculation and misunderstanding, with the US calling for “more work” to ensure military communications stayed open and reliable.

But a Chinese defence ministry spokesperson took a more hawkish tone at the year’s last regular press conference.

“The United States continues to strengthen its Asia-Pacific deployments, this is full of a Cold War mindset,” the spokesperson, Wu Qian, said on Thursday.

“Its goal is for its own selfish gains and to maintain its hegemony. Its nature is to stoke confrontation.”

US officials had hoped last week’s talks, when top US General Charles Brown and his Chinese counterpart, General Liu Zhenli, held a videoconference in the first such event in more than a year, could bring a broader restoration in military ties.

Those talks followed a pact in San Francisco last month between the leaders of both countries to resume such ties, which Beijing had snapped after a visit to self-ruled Taiwan in 2022 by Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House of Representatives.

The video call yielded “positive and constructive outcomes”, Wu said.

But Beijing expected Washington to “take concrete actions on the basis of equality and respect to promote the sound and steady development of China-US military-to-military relationship”, he added, with specifics to be announced later.

MANIPULATING TAIWAN

On Taiwan, set to hold a key presidential election on Jan 13, Wu accused its government of deliberately “hyping up” a military threat from China for electoral gain.

He warned the US against interfering in Taiwan affairs, including selling arms to the island democracy.

“We firmly oppose any country having official and military contact with Taiwan in any form. The US is manipulating the Taiwan question in various forms, which is a very dangerous gamble,” Wu said.

“We urge the US to stop arming Taiwan under any excuses or by any means,” he added.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said this week it was not seeing any signs of large-scale Chinese military activity before the elections but was keeping close watch on China.



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