The Chinese military blames the United States for poor military relations after the US and Chinese military held their first video conference last month.
Col. Wu Qian of the China People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who heads the Defense Ministry’s information office in Beijing, told reporters the United States provoked China and was blocking its development. .
“As we all know, due to the constant US provocations and confinement against China, Sino-US military relations are now facing multiple difficulties and challenges,” Colonel Wu said at a late press conference. September, the English transcript was recently released by Chinese authorities.
The comments came after Michael Chase, the new Assistant US Under Secretary of Defense for China, held a video conference on September 28 and 29 with PLA Major General Huang Xueping, deputy director of the cooperation office. PLA international military within the US -China defense policy coordination talks.
Col. Wu’s stern comments blaming the United States contrasted with an optimistic assessment of the US-China military relationship that the Pentagon presented on the Chase-Huang video conference.
“The meeting is an important part of the Biden-Harris administration’s continued efforts to responsibly manage competition between the United States and the PRC by maintaining open lines of communication with the PRC,” the spokesperson said. from the Pentagon, Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Meiners.
Col. Meiners said that Mr. Chase and General Huang “held a frank, in-depth and open discussion on a range of issues affecting defense relations between the United States and the PRC.”
“The two sides reaffirmed the consensus to keep the communication channels open,” he said. “The US side has also made clear its commitment to uphold the principles shared with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Colonel Wu, meanwhile, asserted that although US-Chinese military ties are important, China will only develop bilateral military ties “on the assumption that China’s sovereignty, dignity and core interests must not be violated ”.
The PLA welcomes communication and cooperation and is ready to “face differences and oppose coercion,” he said.
“While the American side has serious problems with knowing China, itself and the world today, which is causing the current difficult situation in relations between the two countries and the two armies, ”Colonel Wu said.
He also said the PLA wanted the United States to “correct its mistakes” and “join hands with China” in seeking closer military ties.
Tensions between the two armies have escalated in recent months over China’s military encroachment in the South China Sea, where Beijing has reclaimed some 3,200 acres of disputed islands and placed missiles on some of them. they.
The Chinese military opposes enhanced cooperation with Taiwan, including more than $ 10 billion in a recent supply of defensive weapons.
China has also complained about the increase in the US Navy’s freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea involving the passage of warships through the waterway which China says constitutes 90 percent of its maritime territory.
China has also carried out aggressive air forays into Taiwan’s air defense zone, including recent flights of more than 150 warplanes, including H-6 bombers, near the island.
China’s rebuke of the Biden administration’s efforts to revive military exchanges comes amid controversy over General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who spoke with a Chinese general in the fall last and informed him that the US military would alert China before any attack.
General Milley defended calls that were not coordinated with the White House or the State Department, saying he was “specifically tasked with communicating with the Chinese by the Department of Defense Guidance system of political dialogue “.
“These top-level army-to-military communications are essential to the security of the United States in order to unwind military actions, manage crises and prevent war between major powers armed with nuclear weapons,” he said. he declared to the senatorial commission of the armed forces. 28.
Military exchanges between the United States and China have been controversial since their inception in 1979.
Congress in 2000 restricted military engagement with China to prevent the PLA from acquiring combat skills and know-how from exchanges.
During the Trump administration, military exchanges continued but were limited under policies to pressure China and the PLA to end aggressive military activities and coercive operations.