The administration of US President Joe Biden continued to warn Beijing of any expansionist intentions in East and Southeast Asia, while China stressed that containing it is an “impossible task.”
Biden and his senior security officials, a week after taking over the new administration, stressed support for allies such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, which indicates Washington’s rejection of China’s demands in the disputed territories in that region.
Biden assured Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihde Soga on Wednesday that his administration is committed to defending Japan, including the Senkaku Islands disputed between Japan and China, which it calls the Diaoyu Islands.
This position was expressed by Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, who told his Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi on Saturday that the disputed islands are covered by the security agreement signed between Japan and the United States.
Austin stressed that the United States “remains opposed to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” according to a statement issued by Congress after the call.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price warned China, three days after taking office, of threatening Taiwan after sending more than a dozen military fighters and bombers to the air defense zones over the island.
“We will stand with friends and allies to encourage shared values of prosperity and security in the Indian and Pacific region, and this includes deepening our relations with democratic Taiwan,” Price said in a statement. “Our commitment for Taiwan is very strong,” he added.
For his part, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that the joint defense agreement that compels the United States to defend the Philippines in the event of any attack in the Pacific Ocean also applies to the disputed South China Sea area, which is not precisely defined by Barack Obama’s administration. Previous.
These comments are intended to emphasize that the new Biden administration will not change its hard-line security stance towards China, which it inherited from the previous Donald Trump administration.
In response to these assurances, the Chinese Ministry of Defense Thursday warned the United States that “containing China is an impossible task” and called on Washington to “mutual respect andLack of confrontation“.
“The facts have shown that containing China is an impossible task and is like shooting someone in the foot,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in an Internet press conference, stressing that “Sino-US military relations are now a new historical starting point” with Biden reaching The presidency.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tian Kai said – in a speech to an online forum – that dealing with China as a “strategic opponent” of the United States is a miscalculation that may lead to mistakes.
In the first major speech by a Chinese official on relations between the two countries since the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States, Ambassador Cui affirmed China’s stance towards “peaceful coexistence with the United States”, while warning it of the consequences of crossing “red lines.”
“Treating China as a strategic adversary and an imaginary enemy would be a great strategic mistake,” he said – at the forum held late on Wednesday – adding that “setting any policy on this basis will only lead to fatal strategic mistakes.”
Since the administration of former US President Donald Trump announced in 2018 that China is a strategic adversary, relations between the two countries have been repeatedly strained due to issues including trade and Beijing’s handling of the Corona virus crisis, and the Biden administration is expected to continue to pressure China.