BAFL 48.26 Increased By ▲ 1.76 (3.78%)
BIPL 21.70 Increased By ▲ 0.55 (2.6%)
BOP 5.65 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (2.17%)
CNERGY 5.13 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (4.69%)
DFML 19.77 Increased By ▲ 0.95 (5.05%)
DGKC 81.20 Increased By ▲ 1.20 (1.5%)
FABL 31.80 Increased By ▲ 0.95 (3.08%)
FCCL 20.61 Increased By ▲ 0.22 (1.08%)
FFL 9.86 Increased By ▲ 0.30 (3.14%)
GGL 14.00 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.21%)
HBL 122.25 Increased By ▲ 4.30 (3.65%)
HUBC 124.85 Increased By ▲ 1.05 (0.85%)
HUMNL 8.47 Increased By ▲ 0.52 (6.54%)
KEL 3.71 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (5.7%)
LOTCHEM 28.70 Increased By ▲ 0.15 (0.53%)
MLCF 42.55 Increased By ▲ 0.45 (1.07%)
OGDC 122.25 Increased By ▲ 1.24 (1.02%)
PAEL 19.53 Increased By ▲ 0.69 (3.66%)
PIBTL 5.86 Increased By ▲ 0.16 (2.81%)
PIOC 117.70 Increased By ▲ 3.99 (3.51%)
PPL 110.50 Increased By ▲ 2.15 (1.98%)
PRL 29.58 Increased By ▲ 1.76 (6.33%)
SILK 1.09 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (1.87%)
SNGP 70.40 Increased By ▲ 1.00 (1.44%)
SSGC 13.87 Increased By ▲ 0.62 (4.68%)
TELE 9.08 Increased By ▲ 0.29 (3.3%)
TPLP 14.34 Increased By ▲ 0.69 (5.05%)
TRG 95.30 Increased By ▲ 3.36 (3.65%)
UNITY 27.66 Increased By ▲ 1.00 (3.75%)
WTL 1.62 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (3.18%)
BR100 6,654 Increased By 109.7 (1.68%)
BR30 23,737 Increased By 526.3 (2.27%)
KSE100 64,698 Increased By 780.3 (1.22%)
KSE30 21,596 Increased By 244.7 (1.15%)

SINGAPORE: United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Saturday he was deeply concerned by China’s unwillingness to engage on military crisis management, warning that talks are key to avoiding conflict.

The relationship between the United States and China is at its lowest point in decades, as they remain deeply divided over everything from the sovereignty of Taiwan to espionage and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s top security summit, Austin said that open lines of communication between U.S. and Chinese defence and military leaders were essential to avoid conflict and bolster stability in the Asia-Pacific.

“I am deeply concerned that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) has been unwilling to engage more seriously on better mechanisms for crisis management between our two militaries,” Austin told the meeting in Singapore.

“The more that we talk, the more that we can avoid the misunderstandings and miscalculations that could lead to crisis or conflict.”

China objects to NATO labelling it a ‘threat’

China’s Minister of National Defence Li Shangfu had this week declined an invitation to meet Austin at the security summit. Li, a general who has been sanctioned by the U.S., delivers his own speech on Sunday.

On Friday, the two shook hands on the sidelines of the conference but did not hold detailed talks, the Pentagon said.

“A cordial handshake over dinner is no substitute for a substantive engagement,” Austin said.

Dialogue between the two countries has stalled since U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancelled a visit to China

in February after a suspected Chinese spy balloon was tracked flying across the United States.

Indonesia proposes demilitarised zone, UN referendum for Ukraine peace plan

Liu Pengyu, spokesperson at the Chinese embassy in Washington, said on Friday in an emailed statement that communication between China and the U.S. was conducive to a greater mutual understanding.

“However, now the U.S. says it wants to speak to the Chinese side while seeking to suppress China through all possible means and continue imposing sanctions on Chinese officials, institutions and companies,” the statement said.

China will have bilateral talks with defence chiefs from a dozen countries at the summit, Lieutenant General He Lei, former vice president of the Academy of Military Sciences, said in comments published by state-backed Chinese newspaper the Global Times on Saturday.

Taiwan tensions

One of the thorniest security issues between the two superpowers is over the future of Taiwan, a democratically governed territory which Beijing wants to bring under its rule.

South Korea says some countries ignore North Korea’s unlawful behaviour

There are increasing concerns that China could invade Taiwan with the U.S. drawn into any conflict.

Austin pointed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an example of “how dangerous our world would become if big countries could just invade their peaceful neighbours with impunity”.

He said the U.S. was “deeply committed” to preserving the status quo in Taiwan and opposes unilateral changes from either side.

“Conflict is neither imminent nor inevitable. Deterrence is strong today and it’s our job to keep it that way,” Austin said.

Chinese Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting that Austin’s comments risk creating confrontation in the Asia-Pacific region, including over Taiwan.

“It (U.S.) wants instability in Taiwan so that it can bring its soldiers to Taiwan, and earn money from selling military weapons to Taiwan,” said Zhao, a researcher at China’s Academy of Military Sciences.

Southeast Asian defence pact helps ‘balance’ region, members say

U.S. military officials have previously said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on his armed forces to develop the capabilities for a possible invasion of Taiwan by 2027.

“It doesn’t mean that he’s made a decision to do that,” Austin said in response to a question about Xi’s plans.

Under President Joe Biden, the U.S. has been strengthening its ties with allies in Asia, including Australia, Japan, India, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Beijing has criticised a deal announced by Australia in March to buy U.S. nuclear-powered submarines.

Australia is set to spend A$368 billion ($250 billion) over three decades on the submarine programme, part of a broader security pact with the U.S. and Britain known as AUKUS.

“(AUKUS) promotes greater stability and security,” Austin said.


Comments are closed.

US defence chief tells China talks essential to avoid crisis

Intra-day update: rupee strengthens against US dollar

Intra-day update: KSE-100 crosses 64,600 after over 700-point gain

‘Illegal’ LCs, forex market speculation: MoF set to share list of banks with SIFC today

Illegal foreigners seriously affecting Pakistan’s security, economy: COAS

Oil rebounds from six-month-low, demand concerns still cloud

Loss-making Discos: FD opposes PD’s proposal

Power sector: Nepra backs transition from Libor to ‘SOFR’

FWBL sell-off: Minister briefed about status of accounts

Digitising budget process: Shamshad chairs IMF mission meeting

‘Delayed’ CASA-1000 project: World Bank reluctant to arrange funds