Original Article by Zero Hedge
Over the weekend Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit that any potential future conflict between the United States and China would bring “unbearable disaster for the world”.
But he said both rival powerful countries should be able to grow together and to avoid confrontation. His words came as the US condemned what it called unsafe and aggressive maneuvers by a Chinese PLA Navy warship in the Taiwan Strait as the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon conducted a ‘freedom of navigation’ transit on Saturday.
“It is undeniable that a severe conflict or confrontation between China and the US would be an unbearable disaster for the world,” Li said.
While at the conference the top Chinese defense leader refused a sit-down bilateral meeting with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin, but there was at least a cordial handshake.
Li, who took up his posts in March, additionally said China “believes that a big power should behave like one, instead of provoking bloc confrontation for self-interest.”
He urged that Washington “take concrete action” to find common ground with China and to reverse the trend of spiraling ties, which has been on display and intensified ever since the US Chinese ‘spy balloon’ shootdown in early February.
While not naming the US, Li also said at the defense summit over the weekend that “some country” practices “exceptionalism and double standards and only serves the interests and follows the rules of a small number of countries.”
Currently Washington and Beijing are trading harsh words over the aforementioned Saturday ‘close-call’ between the US and Chinese warships off Taiwan.
Gen. Li upon taking his post in March told his country and military that “we must prevent attempts that try to use those freedom of navigation (patrols), that innocent passage, to exercise hegemony of navigation.”
He remains under US sanctions – something which has served to thwart talks with US defense officials and the Biden administration. China has demanded that the White House first drop the sanctions on him before direct military dialogue can be restored.