China Issues Rebuke of US 10/21 06:11
BEIJING (AP) -- China's defense minister lashed out at U.S. foreign policy
Monday, saying China wasn't fazed by sanctions, pressure or a "big stick"
approach, while reiterating threats to force the self-governing island
democracy of Taiwan to accept rule from Beijing.
Gen. Wei Fenghe did not refer directly to the U.S. in his opening remarks at
the Xiangshan Forum, an annual gathering in Beijing patterned on other
multilateral gatherings such as Singapore's Shangri-la Dialogue.
But he repeated phrases Beijing often says about Washington and its Western
allies as part of what China considers an ongoing campaign to restrain its
"No one and no force will be able to stop the course" of China's annexation
of Taiwan, Feng said in an opening address to the forum, whose catchphrase this
year is "Maintaining International Order and Promoting Peace in the
China "will never allow the separatists for Taiwan independence to take
their chances or any external forces to interfere into the Taiwan affairs.
Reunification of the motherland is a justified course and separatist activities
are doomed to failure," Wei said.
Taiwan, a former Japanese colony, split from China amid civil war in 1949
and enjoys strong U.S. military and diplomatic backing, despite the lack of
Referring to what China regards as unwarranted U.S. intervention in other
countries' affairs, Wei said China wouldn't accept or be intimidated by
He included among those "long-arm jurisdiction," China's pejorative term for
the leveling of U.S. sanctions on countries such as China, North Korea and Iran.
Wei's comments Monday come amid sharpening tensions between China and the
U.S. over a range of economic and security issues, from trade and technology
transfer to Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
U.S. officials have offered their own harsh assessments of China's drive to
supplant America as Asia's pre-eminent military power.
In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, top
U.S. diplomat David R. Stilwell said China's ruling Communist Party is pursuing
a "repressive alternative vision" for the region that seeks to reorder it in
its favor and has put Beijing "in a position of strategic competition with all
who seek to preserve a free and open order of sovereign nations within a
Stilwell, assistant secretary of the State Department's Bureau of East Asian
and Pacific Affairs, said China's claim to virtually the entire South China Sea
as exemplified by the "preposterous nine-dashed line" lacked "legal, historic,
or geographic merit."
Stilwell was especially scathing about China's claim to be pursuing a
peaceful code of conduct with other parties while using its navy, coast guard
and other actors to bully neighbors such as Vietnam and cement its claims in
their area by building artificial island outposts.
"We remain skeptical of the PRC's sincerity to negotiate a meaningful Code
of Conduct that reinforces international law," Stilwell said. "If it is used by
the PRC to legitimize its egregious behavior and unlawful maritime claims, and
to evade the commitments Beijing signed up to under international law, a Code
of Conduct would be harmful to the region, and to all who value freedom of the