2011-11-30 (China Military News cited from Reuters)
The Chinese Defense Ministry criticized on Wednesday the United States and Australia for upgrading their military ties, warning that such steps could undermine trust and reflected Cold War thinking.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng offered the warning about a plan unveiled in mid-November by U.S. President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to form a de facto base in north Australia for up to 2,500 U.S. Marines.
"Military alliances are a product of history, but we believe any strengthening and expansion of military alliances is an expression of the Cold War mentality," Geng said in answer to a question about the U.S.-Australian announcement, according to a transcript on the ministry's website
This is not in keeping with the tide of the era of peace, development and cooperation, and does not help to enhance mutual trust and cooperation between countries in the region, and could ultimately harm the common interests of all concerned," he said.
"We hope that the parties concerned will do more that is beneficial to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, and not the contrary," added Geng.
The Chinese Ministry of Defense is the public mouthpiece of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), but foreign reporters are not allowed to attend its briefings.
Earlier this month, Obama told Asia-Pacific leaders that the United States was "here to stay," announced the plans to set up a de facto military base in northern Australia, and chided China for refusing to discuss its South China Sea disputes at regional forums.
While stopping short of a full-throated condemnation of the American-Australian move, Geng's words were blunter than earlier reaction from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which responded by saying the countries should focus on cooperating with Beijing.
Geng also said that the notion raised by U.S. and Australian officials of advancing "integrated air and sea combat" amounted to "trumpeting confrontation and sacrificing others' security for the sake of one's own security."
Chinese military officers have sometimes taken a tougher stance on regional security worries than civilian officials.
Earlier this week, PLA Major General Luo Yuan, well-known for his hawkish views, warned that Obama's regional push showed that the United States wants to encircle China.
commenter cet article …