BEIJING, China – China said Friday, May 30, it would promote its own security theory at an Asian defense forum this weekend, setting the scene for a clash with neighbor and rival Japan.
Beijing’s delegation to the so-called Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore will be headed by Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.
The Chinese delegation will “fully elaborate on China’s security concept in Asia,” he said at a regular briefing.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is attending, will lay out at the meeting a vision of Tokyo – which has a security alliance with the US – as a counterweight to Beijing’s growing might, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported Thursday.
But at a regional summit last week Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that countries should not build up military alliances in Asia.
“To beef up an entrenched or military alliance targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security,” Xi said, without naming names.
Beijing and Tokyo are embroiled in a bitter dispute over Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea.
Fu Ying, head of the foreign affairs committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, will also attend the Dialogue, Hong added.
Fu is a former vice foreign minister and ex-ambassador to London, and is considered a more effective communicator than most Chinese officials.
The three-day Asia Security Summit, starting Friday, May 30, comes amid heightened tensions between China and its neighbors over maritime territorial rows.
As well as the dispute with Japan, China claims almost all of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and non-member Taiwan.
The row between Beijing and Hanoi is currently the most volatile, after China deployed a drilling rig in contested waters, and escalated this week when Vietnam accused a Chinese vessel of ramming and sinking a fishing boat nearby.
No one was hurt in the incident, which Beijing blamed on the Vietnamese vessel. – Rappler.com