习近平吊唁越共中央总书记阮富仲逝世
News > Latest >

US, please show some self-control at Shangri-La Dialogue!

Source: CGTN | 2023-06-03
Share:
US, please show some self-control at Shangri-La Dialogue!

Editor's note: CGTN's First Voice provides instant commentary on breaking stories. The column clarifies emerging issues and better defines the news agenda, offering a Chinese perspective on the latest global events.

This year's Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) kicked off in Singapore on Friday. Ministers and delegates from more than 40 countries including Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin joined the dialogue to exchange views on regional peace and stability.

Prior to the SLD, Washington had started to hype so-called "China threats,"spreading false news about China's "unprofessional intercept" against U.S. aircraft over the South China Sea in "international space," and hyping up China's "rejection" of a defense chiefs' meeting at the SLD – all in an attempt to depict China as a "troublemaker" unwilling to talk.  

The U.S. is adept at playing this trick – setting agendas ahead of the dialogue and defense chief hyping them up in the SLD speech. The U.S. is clear about reasons why China-U.S. defense talks face difficulties. "The U.S. should earnestly respect China's sovereignty, security and interest concerns, immediately correct wrong practice, show sincerity and create the necessary atmosphere and conditions for dialogue and communication between the Chinese and U.S. militaries," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Tuesday.

In 2018, the U.S. announced it would sanction the then Director of the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission, Li Shangfu. Till now, the U.S. has not lifted the sanctions. Worse still, it intensified denunciations against Beijing on issues concerning China's sovereignty and core economic interests. The U.S. has shown no sincerity in talks with China.

File photo shows the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force conducting a joint combat patrol mission in the South China Sea. [Photo/Xinhua]

Since its establishment in 2002, the SLD, despite its venue in Singapore, has seen Western countries playing a leading role in the agenda setting of Asia's security. Under the name of sharing views on diplomacy, countries outside the region have been making waves in Asia. This year's SLD is no different. It is worth noting that the first plenary session after the dialogue's opening discussed U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific. Why is U.S. leadership prioritized in Asia's security summit?

In 2017, then U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis talked about Indo-Pacific security at the SLD, denouncing China for "impeding" the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Soon after that, the Donald Trump administration put forward the Indo-Pacific strategy, endowing the concept with more security and military connotations. Its target against China is known for all. At the 2018 SLD, Mattis discussed U.S. leadership and Indo-Pacific security. Replacing Asia-Pacific with Indo-Pacific, Washington has intensified its ungrounded criticisms against Beijing on the Taiwan question and other affairs concerning China's core interests.

The essence of the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy is to woo more Asian countries, contain China's development and maintain American hegemony. However, the U.S. has miscalculated its strategy.At last year's SLD, Indonesian Defense Minister PrabowoSubianto made it clear that "your enemy is not necessarily my enemy," while Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein pointed to existing security mechanisms, stating that the ASEAN way is not just about leaders shaking hands and taking photographs. Even the host of SLD, Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, opposed drawing ideological lines, stating that Asian security issues are "not an ideological struggle between autocracies and democracies."

As the saying goes, those involved in the matter are easily blinded to the truth. Lost in the remnants of its former hegemonic glory, the U.S. is fixated on its nostalgia for the old order and struggling to come to terms with the new reality. The rapid narrowing of the power gap between China and the U.S. is not necessarily a negative development.

The competition between nations is like a track and field race, where only by striving to be the best can there be mutual improvement. However, if the U.S. insists on treating this as a life-and-death arena, engaging in mutual attacks and containment, it will lose the dignity of a great power and harm its own interests. To the U.S. delegation at the SLD, please show some self-control!

8013945 8013950