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Experts: US seeks to maintain hegemony by hyping 'China threat'

By Jiang Chenglong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-06-11 19:27

The United States continues to trample the one-China principle and hype up the "China threat" theory to maintain its hegemony in the Asia-Pacific, experts said.

The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin delivered a keynote speech themed Next Steps for the US' Indo-Pacific Strategy at the 19th Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, just a day after he met with his Chinese counterpart, State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.

"We remain firmly committed to our longstanding one-China policy guided by the 'Taiwan Relations Act', the three Joint Communiques, and the 'Six Assurances'. We do not support 'Taiwan independence'," said Austin, noting that, however, the US will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a "sufficient self-defense capability".

The secretary accused China of threatening to undermine security, stability, and prosperity in the so-called Indo-Pacific. "Maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait isn't just a US interest. It's a matter of international concern," he said.

Zhou Bo, a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University, said Austin aimed to exert pressure on China.

"The US' words haven't been matched by its deeds in Taiwan question," said the researcher, also a former military diplomat.

On Wednesday, the US announced the sale of $120 million worth of spare ship parts and other equipment, the fourth arms package to Taiwan approved under US President Joe Biden.

Austin also criticized Beijing's "growing coercion" - a steady increase in "provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan".

"The US is now on purpose building a scenario that China is about to use force across the Strait," Zhou said. "But China has expressed time and again that it shall do its utmost with maximum sincerity to achieve a peaceful reunification. The use of force would be the last choice."

Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo, a researcher at the People‘s Liberation Army Academy of Military Science, said the "US interest" Austin mentioned indicated the hegemony mentality of the US.

"In fact, the biggest US interest is to maintain its hegemony, which includes the predominance in the Asia-Pacific," Zhao said, noting that the superpower is attempting to contain China by enhancing the network of alliances led by it.

In the speech, the US defense secretary also accused China of adopting a more "coercive and aggressive" approach to its territorial claims in East China and South China Seas.

"The military is the best way for the US to maintain its hegemony," said Zhao. "Thus, it has to create a sense of insecurity in the Asia-Pacific, forcing regional countries to have more security demand from it.

"And the 'China threat' theory would be the best catalyst for the unsafe sense."

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