Why China-US defense chief dialogue faces difficulties?


China Military Online
Li Jiayao
2023-05-31 22:21:22

By Guo Yuandan


When asked about China's rejection of the request by the US for a defense chief meeting at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore at a press briefing on May 30, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that the US was clear about the reason why China-US military dialogue faces difficulties. The so-called efforts of the US are only reflected in the statements sent to the media, not in actions. In other words, they do not walk the talk. And for that matter, the US knows it well.

Mao urged the US side to earnestly respect China's sovereignty, security and interest concerns, immediately correct wrong practices, show sincerity and create the necessary atmosphere and conditions for dialogue and communication between Chinese and US militaries.


Just as the Pentagon claimed that the US is making efforts to set up a meeting between the defense chiefs of the two countries, officials of Taiwan region's defense department said on May 25 that the US government begun the weapon assistance to Taiwan through Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), and that the first batch of Stinger air defense missiles had arrived in Taiwan on May 24.


A military expert pointed out that the current US actions are self-contradictory and questionable. On the one hand, the US claims that it hopes to maintain military communication with China and set up a so-called guardrail for China-US relations; on the other hand, the US keeps provoking China and infringing upon its interests. "The Taiwan question is the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed. However, the US keeps provoking China by salami tactics, which is a typical case of saying one thing and doing another, and is totally hypocritical and insincere," he said.


Another military expert expressed, as China and the US are the two most important military forces in the world, maintaining stable relations between the two militaries is closely related to regional and global security. The high-level meeting between the two militaries is not only a bridge of strategic communication, but also significant for crisis management. However, the US side is playing innocent while infringing upon China's interests. In this case, China has to show where it stands on this issue. "If the US cannot carry out the high-level meeting with a correct attitude and does not want to work things out, there is no way that such meeting will turn the trick," said the expert frankly.


According to analysts, the US not only attempts to shift the blame to the Chinese side for the failure of the two militaries' normal communication, but also hopes to put regional peace and security in jeopardy. The Wall Street Journal quoted some US officials warning that China's refusal might cause anxiety among Southeast Asian countries, who may fear that they would end up being caught between the two major countries, China and the US.


Senior Colonel Zhang Chi, deputy director of the Teaching and Research Office for National Security Strategy, School of National Security, PLA National Defense University, said on May 30 that it is the US, not China, that is the real source of anxiety among Southeast Asian countries, pushing regional countries to take sides. A glimpse of the US's so-called "Indo-Pacific strategy" tells us that the country, which is good at manipulating ideology through dividing and ruling, has long been trying to control other countries by triggering regional conflicts and opposition. "The US pursues exclusive multilateralism in the Asia-Pacific region to maintain its hegemonic position in the world while curbing the development of other countries. Such practice will aggravate the opposition of the international community and increase the risk of regional confrontation and conflict," said Zhang.

国防大学国家安全学院国家安全战略教研室大校副主任张弛30日对《环球时报》表示,导致东南亚国家担忧的真正根源是美国,推动地区国家选边站队的是美国,而不是中国。观察美国推动所谓“印太战略”可以发现,其一向惯于用分而治之和操弄意识形态的手法,通过制造矛盾和对立来操控其他国家。“在亚太地区,美国推行的是排他性的多边主义,主旨是希望维护其世界霸权地位同时遏制其他国家的发展,美国的这种做法会加剧国际社会对立,推高地区对抗和冲突的风险。” 张弛说。

Zhang added that different from the US, which is keen to set up exclusive cliques and seek its own gains from geopolitical struggles, China has long been committed to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and put forward Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative. China has been unswervingly pursuing inclusive multilateralism, demonstrating its sense of responsibility as a responsible major country, and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind with pragmatic actions, and has got a series of major practical achievements.

张弛进一步表示,与美国“设立各种排他性的小圈子”、“从地缘政治斗争中谋取私利”不同,中国长期以来推动构建人类命运共同体,并提出全球发展倡议、全球安全倡议和全球文明倡议三大倡议。中国推行的是一种包容性的多边主义, “我们坚定不移地奉行包容性的多边主义,展现了负责任的大国担当,以务实行动推动构建人类命运共同体,并取得了一系列重大的实践成果”。

Editor's note: Originally published on huanqiu.com, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.

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