Today, Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fengyi accused the United States of trying to “hijack” the support of countries in the “Asia-Pacific” region to turn them against China, saying that Washington seeks to advance its interests “under the guise of multilateralism.”
Feng criticized his US counterpart Lloyd Austin, rejecting his “defamatory accusation” the day before at the Shangri-La Dialogue summit, that China was causing instability for its claim to the self-ruled island of Taiwan and increasing its military activities in the region.
Austin also stressed the need for a multi-partnership with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, which the Chinese Defense Minister considered an attempt to marginalize Beijing, according to the Associated Press.
Fengy also added that a state should not impose its will on others or bully them under the guise of pluralism.
“The (US) strategy is an attempt to build a small group in the name of the free and open Indo-Pacific to kidnap countries in our region and target a specific country. It is a strategy to create conflict and confrontation to contain or encircle others,” the Chinese minister said.
China is rapidly modernizing its military and seeking to expand its influence and ambitions in the region, having recently signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands that many fear will lead to the establishment of a Chinese naval base in the Pacific.
It laid the foundation stone last week for a seaport expansion project in Cambodia that could give Beijing a foothold in the Gulf of Thailand.