Any attempt to contain China would be “mission impossible,” the country’s Defense Department warned the US on Thursday as the Biden government works to bolster its Asian alliances against Beijing.
Military tensions between the two superpowers intensified under former US President Donald Trump, who took an aggressive stance on regional hot spots such as Taiwan and the South China Sea.
At the same time, China has invested billions in upgrading its military, in line with President Xi Jinping’s ambitions to transform the People’s Liberation Army into a fully modernized “world-class” combat force by 2050.
“The facts show that it is impossible to contain China and that you are only going to shoot yourself in the foot,” warned Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian on Thursday.
“Sino-US military relations are currently at a new historic starting point with the arrival of the Biden administration,” said Wu, calling on the US to adopt a “non-confrontational, mutually respectful win-win mentality.”
Tensions between the two superpowers have shown no sign of easing under the Biden administration, which dispatched groups of warships, including a U.S. aircraft carrier, to the South China Sea over the weekend.
China has increasingly asserted its presence in the disputed region in recent years, aggressively expanding its territory via artificial islands and reefs, much to the chagrin of Southeast Asian neighbors with rival claims.
In response, the Trump administration frequently sent warships near islands controlled by Beijing in “freedom of navigation operations” that China has dismissed as mere attitude.
Washington attempted to cement ties with Asian nations this week, and US President Joe Biden, in a Wednesday conversation with the country’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, reiterated his administration’s “unwavering commitment” to Japan, including those controversial that China claims Senkaku Islands, to defend.
The new US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III has also discussed regional security threats in recent talks with colleagues in South Korea, Australia and India. Relations with China have deteriorated in the latter two countries.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Thursday dismissed the US-Japan security alliance as a “Cold War relic,” saying that disputes in the South China Sea are settled between “countries directly involved” and not between them should be outside the region.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)