South China Morning Post
June 11, 2022

Chinese defence officials take aim at US’ ‘aggressive’ Taiwan-Ukraine comparison

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.”

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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