Russian defense chief says US' Indo-Pacific strategy would hurt Asia-Pacific multilateral cooperation

Global Times
Xu Yi
2019-10-22 11:24:55

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Monday questioned the Trump administration's Indo-Pacific strategy at the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum, saying that it would undermine the multilateral cooperation system in the Asia-Pacific region.

Shoigu told the forum on Monday that the conception of an Indo-Pacific region as envisioned by the US does not have a clear geographic explanation and its strategic targets are vague. The US' Indo-Pacific strategy does not include all countries in the region.

The strategy might lead to the birth of an alliance of interest in the region and break the effective operation of the multilateral cooperation system of the region, the Defense Minister added.

He said that Russia endorses the idea of a free and open partnership in Asia that provides equal and indivisible security for all countries.

Shoigu also criticized the behavior of the US for withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, noting that the real reason the US unilaterally withdrew is because it plans to curb the power of China and Russia.

China's growing military and economic power, Russian defense power and increasing military cooperation between these two countries make the treaty of little interest to the US.

The weapons previously prohibited by the INF Treaty are most likely be deployed in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe which increase tensions. The US' decision to withdraw from the treaty will lead to the increased possibility of a renewed arms race and conflict, Shoigu said.

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