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Top China, Russia officials warn foreign forces stoking turmoil in Asia and beyond

Chinese top brass Zhang Youxia.(Photo by AFP)

Top Chinese and Russian military leaders have raised the alarm about foreign forces making efforts to sow the seed of discord and turmoil in Asia and beyond.

Speaking on Monday at the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum, vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), General Zhang Youxia, painted a grim picture of the dire straits of present world security.

“Some countries, for fear that the world may stabilize, deliberately create turmoil, interfere in regional issues, interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, and instigate color revolutions,” Zhang warned without naming any countries.

“As we look across the world today, hotspot issues are arising one after another. The pain of war, chaos and turmoil, and loss of life are constantly playing out,” he added.

The Chinese top brass pointed out that certain countries were causing commotion and creating friction because they benefited from war and conflict.

“Behind the scenes, they hand out knives and think nothing of provoking people into wars, ensuring that they’re the ones who benefit from the chaos.”

Zhang also said Beijing was pursuing diplomatic means to resolve its conflict with the United States, seeking to improve military-to-military ties with the Pentagon.

“We are also willing to develop China-US military relations in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.”

The US navy regularly sends its warships to what Beijing regards as its territorial waters, but Washington calls them freedom of navigation operations.

Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, also speaking at the forum, confirmed that the Western countries aimed to extend the crisis in Europe, triggered by US-led NATO’s expansionist policy, to Asia and beyond.

“Having provoked an acute crisis in Europe, the West is trying to expand the crisis potential in the Asia Pacific,” he told the delegates from 90 countries present at the international defense conference in Beijing.

Shoigu warned that the military engagement of nuclear-armed countries in international conflicts created a big risk to the world.

“Direct involvement of countries with nuclear arsenals multiplies the strategic risks.”

“The West’s line towards escalation with Russia poses a risk of direct conflict between nuclear powers, which will result in catastrophic consequences,” Shoigu warned.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a two-day visit to China, his first outside the former Soviet Union this year and part of the Kremlin’s drive to strengthen its economic partnerships across Asia.

Also on Monday Zhang -- who embraced Shoigu on the sidelines of the forum -- pledged that Beijing would seek to “deepen strategic cooperation and coordination between the Chinese and Russian militaries.”

Washington and Beijing are at odds, among other issues, over Russia’s war in Ukraine that began in February last year.

China still holds a neutral position and refrains from taking sides in the war, arguing that while a country’s territory must be respected, the West also needs to consider Russia’s security concerns about NATO expansion.

Beijing has also accused Washington of prolonging the fighting through supplying arms to Kiev, weaponry the White House claims is needed to defend against Russia.

The United States has announced plans to make preparations to take on China and Russia at the same time in case World War III breaks out.

report released earlier this month by the US Congress, titled “America’s Strategic Posture”, claimed China and Russia posed an “existential challenge” to America.

“It is an existential challenge for which the United States is ill-prepared, unless its leaders make decisions now,” the 160-page report said raising the alarm about the deepening strategic cooperation and coordination between the Chinese and Russian militaries.

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