South China Morning Post
June 11, 2022
Chinese military officials hit back at US attempts to draw parallels between cross-strait tensions and the war in Ukraine, describing the comparison as very aggressive.
At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, Chinese Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo said US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s suggestion that Europe and the Indo-Pacific shared security concerns amid the Ukraine war was a clear slight at China.
“He spent a long time talking about China’s ties with neighbouring countries,” said Zhao, from China’s Academy of Military Sciences.
“To be honest, I think it’s a little provocative.”
Taiwan was also mentioned for the first time in a separate defence ministers’ meeting between Austin and his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, with the US defence secretary highlighting the importance of “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait.
[Lieutenant General Zhang Zhenzhong, deputy head of the Central Military Commission’s Joint Staff Department] said the strategy was aimed at maintaining American “hegemony” through the US-led groupings such as the Aukus alliance – under which the US and Britain will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
“It will severely shake the architecture centred on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, causing great damage to the overall and long-term interests of countries in the region.”
Beijing’s frustration over the Aukus was clear when Zhao Wenhua, former deputy head of the PLA’s National Defence University, asked Marles if the alliance would become the Nato of the Asia-Pacific.