‘Mind your own business’

'Mind your own business'
Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu ahead of his speech in Singapore

NOS news

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu has called any conflict with the US an “unbearable disaster”. “There is no denying that a serious conflict or conflict between China and the US would be an unbearable disaster for the world,” he said at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s highest security summit, in Singapore.

In an extended speech, Li reiterated several of Beijing’s well-known positions, including its claim to Taiwan, which he called nationally important to China. He accused the US and others of “interfering in China’s internal affairs” by providing security aid to Taiwan and making high-level diplomatic visits. Last month, he cited US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit in August.

Li said his country prefers dialogue to conflict. According to him, the world is big enough for China and the US to grow together and for both countries to work well side by side. “China and the US have different systems and many differences,” the minister said in his first major speech since being appointed in March.

Foxes and wolves

However, the Chinese Defense Minister has issued a warning to the US. “As the lyrics of a famous Chinese song say: ‘When friends meet us, we welcome them with good wine. If jackals or wolves come, we meet them with guns.'”

When asked about the incident in which a Chinese fighter jet flew in front of an American plane, Li bluntly said that the US should mind its own business.

‘Mind your own business’

Li’s statements stemmed from friction with the United States over the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial border between Taiwan and China. For example, Chinese ships frequently cross the median line, which is seen as a provocation in Taiwan. Beijing sees the presence of US ships in the area as a provocation.

This was evident yesterday when US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned of the consequences of conflict on Taiwan. “Make no mistake, a conflict in the Taiwan Strait would be catastrophic,” Austin warned.

Nevertheless, according to Li, common causes and interests must be found. “To strengthen bilateral relations and deepen cooperation,” he added.


Talks between the two defense ministers were said to be taking place during the Singapore summit, but were reportedly rejected by Li. However, there was a small handshake last Friday. A poor alternative, American thinking. “A warm handshake over dinner is no substitute for an important discussion.”

A Chinese ship passed a US destroyer within 140 meters in the Taiwan Strait last night, the US said. The US Navy spoke of a dangerous situation.

Li defended the Chinese ship’s action, saying that international freedom of navigation should not be an excuse for US military exposure in the Taiwan Strait.

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