02 June 2014
Rebuffing criticism from the U.S. and Japan, China sent a clear message at an international security meeting that it will press ahead with territorial claims that have caused friction with Japan and smaller neighbors.
After U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described China’s actions in the South China Sea as destabilizing and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan did not welcome dangerous encounters by jets or warships, Chinese Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong broke from prepared remarks to call their speeches “unimaginable.” The leaders were at the annual Shangri-La security dialogue in Singapore last weekend.
The forum highlighted the growing pains in Asia as China emerges as a military and economic power, challenging decades of U.S. dominance. Even as Chinese officials spoke of their desire to play a cooperative role in the region, Wang, the deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, said Hagel’s speech was “full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation,” and Abe’s speech was understood to have targeted China without mentioning the nation by name.
… While the countries exchanged sharp words at the conference, they will have to find a way to cooperate because they are economically interdependent, according to Richard Bitzinger, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Print
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