China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the think tank conference stated that “[We] should disclose the backstage manipulator who aims at serving its own geopolitical needs that has been attempting to stir up troubles undermining the peace in the South China Sea issue for many years.”

Speaking at the conference organised by the Jakarta think tank ‘Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia’ the minister adviced Southeast Asian nations to not become pawns in a greater power competition and to learn from the ‘tragedy’ that resulted from the war in Ukraine. 

He said, “We should abandon the cold war mentality and oppose zero-sum games, keeping the region away from geopolitical calculations, and not become pawns in the great power competition.” 

Wang further added a warning that “The Ukraine crisis is a wake-up call to humankind, and such a tragedy must not be repeated in Asia.” 

He also used phrases like “external forces” that he believed were “manipulating” ASEAN nations which Chinese analysts as per reports claim could be a reference to the United States or its allies.

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Zhou Chenming, a researcher with the Yuan Wang military science and technology think tank located in Beijing said as per the SCMP that “Wang’s remarks reflected Beijing’s concern over the potential US strategic plan to create some crises similar to the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the region.”

He added how “The US’s recent military deployments in the Korean peninsula and northeast region to beef up South Korea and Japan, the Aukus pact to link up Australia and Britain, and other moves all tell us that Washington wants to disperse the military strength of the People’s Liberation Army in different directions in the event of a war over Taiwan.”

Zhang Mingliang, a Jinan University professor who specialises in South China Sea studies also commented on Wang’s insistence on a legally binding code of conduct for the South China Sea an area where China claims several of the resource-rich waters but are disputed by other countries like Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei. 

Zhang said that “It’s also unlikely that the COC will be completed by the end of this year, as there are too many intractable disagreements between China and other claimants.” 

Along with that, they said “One of the key obstacles is China insists negotiations should exclude ‘external forces’ like the US, but its Asean counterparts do not agree. The other one is how to set up penalties for a legally binding code of conduct.”

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Hindustan Times, South China Morning Post, Press TV

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This post is tagged under: Chinese Foreign Minister think tank, Chinese Foreign Minister, Southeast Asian nations, taiwan, china taiwan, ukraine crisis, china ukraine

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