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Iran Press TV

US accuses China of 'aggressive actions' in Indo-Pacific region amid tensions

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 11:19 AM

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused China of "aggressive actions" as Washington moves swiftly to strengthen its military partnerships in new frontiers against Beijing.

On the first leg of his south-east Asia tour in Indonesia, Blinken on Tuesday outlined the US approach to the highly competitive Indo-Pacific region where both Washington and Beijing are vying for influence.

Washington, he asserted, would work with allies and partners to "defend the rules-based order" and countries should have the right to "choose their own path".

Both Washington and Beijing have been trying to win allies in the Indo-Pacific region, marking gradual shift of focus towards the Indian Ocean and its littoral states.

"That's why there is so much concern - from north-east Asia to south-east Asia and from the Mekong River to the Pacific Islands - about Beijing's aggressive actions," said the top US diplomat.

"Claiming open seas as their own. Distorting open markets through subsidies to its state-run companies

The accusations come as Biden administration is trying to increase its footprints in Southeast Asia by resetting ties with regional countries in an attempt to form a military coalition against China.

Beijing was quick to respond to Blinken's allegations, saying the US attempts to "provoke splits and misunderstandings" will not work in the Asia Pacific region

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Wang Wenbin, China's foreign ministry spokesman said the US "should not draw ideological lines, or provoke group confrontations."

"It should respect the common efforts of China and ASEAN to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea, and not frequently send fleets and planes into that sea, flaunt its military strength, or stir up trouble," Wenbin said.

The spokesman also expressed concern over violence in Afghanistan, noting that the "atrocity" of killing of civilians by US troops in the country was "unacceptable", especially when the perpetrators are "exonerated" by Americans.

"The days when the US could have its way around the world under the pretext of democracy and human right is long gone," Wenbin noted. "The day of reckoning will come for the US military who committed the crime of killing innocent civilians in many countries."

China says Washington is expanding militarism in the regions far from its borders, while it tries to justify its military presence in the Southeast Asian region by making baseless allegations against China.

US Army Secretary, Christine Wormuth, confirmed earlier this month that America's military had already held space and electronic warfare exercises with Indonesia and Thailand, among other partner countries, in order to prepare for a potential conflict with China.

Biden's administration has repeatedly signaled a shift of resources toward "great power" competition with China.

The two sides are at odds over a raft of issues, including the self-ruled island of Chinese Taipei, alleged abuses of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, trade tariffs, climate change and global public health.

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