KSrelief Supervisor General meets Omani Siamese twins Safa and Marwa, 15 years after their separation procedure    SWCC Organizes Future of Desalination International Conference "FDIConf 2022" in Riyadh Next month    Saudi Red Crescent Implements First International Flight to Evacuate a Citizen from Georgia    "Disney on Ice" Characters Take Visitors to Boulevard Arena in Riyadh on an Extraordinary Journey    Wildfires Kill at Least 26 in Eastern Algeria    OIC Expresses Solidarity with Algeria over Forest Fires    16 Dead, 36 Missing in Flash Flood in Western China    Asian Stocks Fall    HRH Crown Prince Congratulates Jordanian Crown Prince on Engagement    Saudi Arabia Witnesses Launch of Strategic Partnership with Google for Startups to Support and Empower 100 Technology Startups    HRH Crown Prince Receives President of Uzbekistan    Heritage Commission to start surveying submerged antiquities in Red Sea    Crown Prince, Uzbek president hold talks in Jeddah    Uzbek president arrives in Jeddah    Saudi holdings of US treasury bonds rise by $4.5 billion in June    LuLu launches India Utsav    PIF buys stakes in Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, JPMorgan and other 13 companies    IMF lauds Saudi Arabia's economic and financial condition    Saudi security authorities foil attempt to smuggle huge quantity of narcotic pills    65 Countries Receive Dates from Unaizah International Dates Season    India frees 11 men convicted of gang-raping pregnant Muslim woman    First grain shipment ends up in Russian-allied Syria    'I realized Afghan women were still fighting. And I chose to be one of them' First Person    Usyk, Joshua conduct open training ahead of the biggest boxing event in Saudi Arabia    Apple sets Sept 5 deadline for employees to return to office    Jeddah is 4 steps away from witnessing biggest boxing event I got my spirit in the right place here in Saudi Arabia: Joshua    Saudi bowling team wins gold in doubles in Arab Championships in Cairo    Fifa suspends Indian FA over undue influence from third parties    Oscars apologizes to actress Sacheen Littlefeather after 50 years    Harry and Meghan to visit UK in September for charity events    Saudi Volleyball National Team to Face Zamalek Egyptian Team    Saudi Bowling Team Wins Gold in Doubles in Arab Championships in Cairo    J&J talc powder sold in Saudi Arabia does not contain asbestos: SFDA    Vampire Esports Soar to PUBG MOBILE World Invitational Triumph at Gamers8    King Salman Urban Charter's typeface wins three international prizes    Ka'aba door bears witness to Saudi rulers' care for the House of God Kaaba' door, repentance' door contain more than 280 KG of pure gold    Saudi National Beach Soccer Team Arrives in Morocco to Participate in Casablanca Beach Soccer Cup 2022    How Aamir Khan adapted Forrest Gump to Bollywood Laal Singh Chaddha    Association of Culture and Arts in Dammam Announces Winners of "International Video Art Forum"    Slaughterhouses of MEWA received more than 600,000 sacrifices in 3 days of Eid    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Delivers Speech to Pilgrims, Citizens, Residents and Muslims around the World    MoH Activates Sign Language to Communicate with Pilgrims with Deafness or Muteness During Hajj    Sheikh Al-Issa at Arafat sermon: Values of Islam foster harmony; eschew hatred and division    Sheikh Al-Issa in Arafah's Sermon: Allaah Blessed You by Making It Easy for You to Carry out This Obligation. Thus, Ensure Following the Guidance of Your Prophet    Red Sea Fund Opens Its Third Cycle for Production Funding    SFDA Warns Against Herbal Product "Montalin Jamu" Due to Containing Active Medicinal Ingredients    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Austin says China muscling neighbors, plundering resources in Pacific
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 06 - 2022

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called out China on Saturday for a series of coercive, aggressive and dangerous actions that threaten stability around Asia and vowed the United States would stand by partners to resist any pressure.
"Indo-Pacific countries shouldn't face political intimidation, economic coercion, or harassment by maritime militias," Austin said in a keynote speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's premier defense conference.
"The PRC's moves threaten to undermine security, and stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific," Austin said, using the acronym to refer to the country by its official name, the People's Republic of China.
He listed a series of areas where he said China is muscling its neighbors, including sending large numbers of warplanes into the skies near Taiwan, dangerously intercepting the patrol planes of US allies, and illegal fishing operations that "plunder the region's provisions."
Taiwan played a key role in Austin's address, as it did during a bilateral meeting between Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Friday evening.
During that meeting, both sides accused the other of trying to change the decades-long status quo over the self-governed island of Taiwan. Austin on Saturday denied any such action from Washington.
"We're determined to uphold the status quo that has served this region so well for so long," he said. Under the "One China" policy, the US acknowledges China's position that Taiwan is part of China, but has never officially recognized Beijing's claim to the democratic island of 23 million.
But Austin said China was operating differently. "We've witnessed a steady increase in provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan. That includes PLA aircraft flying near Taiwan in record numbers in recent months — and on a nearly daily basis," he said, referring to flights of Chinese warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone.
For its part, China on Friday accused Washington of threatening the status quo over the island with things like arms sales, something Beijing says "has seriously undermined China's sovereignty and security interests."
In his meeting with Austin, Wei reiterated China's longstanding position that it was prepared to go to war if Taiwan declares independence from the mainland.
"Defense Minister Wei Fenghe emphasized that if anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will spare no effort to fight a war and shatter any 'Taiwan independence' attempts at any cost, and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China's Defense Ministry said at a news conference following the meeting.
Austin said Saturday the US does not want war in the region. "We do not seek confrontation or conflict. And we do not seek a new Cold War, an Asian NATO, or a region split into hostile blocs," he said.
But Austin said Washington was unflinching in its support for allies and partners. And his accusations against China on Saturday went well beyond Taiwan.
"In the East China Sea, (China's) expanding fishing fleet is sparking tensions with its neighbors. In the South China Sea, (China) is using outposts on man-made islands bristling with advanced weaponry to advance its illegal maritime claims," Austin said.
"We're seeing (Chinese) vessels plunder the region's provisions, operating illegally within the territorial waters of other Indo-Pacific countries. And further to the west, we're seeing Beijing continue to harden its position along the border that it shares with India."
Earlier in his address, Austin pointed to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as an example of the "turmoil" that can ensure when nations veer from international laws.
"Russia's invasion of Ukraine is what happens when oppressors trample the rules that protect us all," he said.
"It's what happens when big powers decide that their imperial appetites matter more than the rights of their peaceful neighbors. And it's a preview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil that none of us would want to live in."
How a war a continent away can affect Pacific security was also brought to the forefront of the discussion on Friday night by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a keynote speech at Shangri-La.
"Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow," Kishida said, adding that to ensure its security Tokyo would be substantially increasing its defense budget.
"We will not rule out any options, including so-called 'counterstrike capabilities,' and will realistically consider what is necessary to protect the lives and livelihoods of our people," he said.
Austin on Saturday noted the bigger roles that Japan and other allies are playing in US Pacific policies, listing a series of joint military exercises in which they have participated.
Another of those partners is India, which along with Japan and Australia is a member of the informal Quad alliance.
"We're also weaving closer ties with other partners," Austin said. "I'm especially thinking of India, the world's largest democracy. We believe that its growing military capability and technological prowess can be a stabilizing force in the region."
In a key move in Oceania, where China as been making a push to make new security and economic agreements with small island states, Austin said Washington was making "unprecedented" US Coast Guard investments.
That will include for the first time permanently stationing a Coast Guard cutter in the region for the first time, he said.
Austin said the Biden administration was prepared to step up to be a leader in and a guarantor of the free and open Indo-Pacific it espouses.
"Big powers carry big responsibilities," Austin said. "And so we'll do our part to manage these tensions responsibly, to prevent conflict, and to pursue peace and prosperity." — CNN

Clic here to read the story from its source.