US 'biggest threat' to world peace

Top News | Charlotte Luo 23 Aug 2019

The United States is a major reason why peace is disturbed around the world, says a People's Liberation Army colonel in charge of war research.

Washington sees China as a strategic opponent that sparked the trade war and it keeps interfering in the mainland's internal affairs, including issues involving Hong Kong, said Chen Rongdi, chief of the Institute of War Studies at the Academy of Military Science in Beijing.

Chen said the instability and uncertainty of international security is increasing and the world is not at peace. "This is mainly because the United States is adjusting its national security strategy, national defense strategy and military strategy. For Taiwan issues, it keeps challenging the bottom line of China's policy and interfering in China's internal affairs, such as Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong," he said.

Chen said the United States also conducts freedom of navigation operations near areas held by Beijing in the South China Sea, which infringes on the mainland's "coastal policy on a large scale." He added: "All of these increase the complexity and uncertainty of China's national security environment."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, meanwhile, said the biggest demand of the 1.4 billion Chinese, including Hongkongers, is that the violence in Hong Kong stop and order be restored.

Geng said their biggest expectation is to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. He asked whether the will of 1.4 billion people can be organized and manipulated.

Geng said overseas Chinese expressed their indignation and opposition to some words and deeds that attempt to split the country and discredit China's image.

That is reasonable, Geng said, adding that China hopes overseas Chinese can express themselves rationally, look after their own safety and ask the countries concerned to respect and understand the legitimate activities of overseas mainlanders.

Geng's comments come after US President Donald Trump said he was "the chosen one" to address trade imbalances with China, even as congressional researchers warned that his tariffs will reduce the United States' economic output by 0.3 percent in 2020.

Trump said his life would be easier if he had not mounted a trade war with China. But he defended his actions and said he believes a trade deal between the world's largest economies is still possible.

"I am the chosen one so I am taking on China. I'm taking on China on trade. And you know what? We're winning," Trump said, claiming a title often used to refer to religious figures.

Trump acknowledged for a second consecutive day that the trade war could harm the United States' economy, although he insists a recession is not on the horizon. Earlier he said he had to confront China even if it caused short-term harm to the US economy because Beijing had been cheating Washington for decades.

The Foreign Ministry downplayed the comments, emphasizing the need for dialogue to resolve trade differences. But it threatened to retaliate if Washington proceeded with an US$8 billion (HK$62.4 billion) arms sale to Taiwan.

Geng reiterated a threat to sanction US companies that sell weapons to Taiwan, saying such sales are a serious interference in China's internal affairs.

Separately, Canadian leader Justin Trudeau said he will not escalate a deepening trade and diplomatic dispute with China, but added Ottawa has no intention of backing down as it is defending its interests.

Speaking to an audience in Montreal just days after Beijing warned Ottawa not to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs, Trudeau repeated his call for restraint and respect for human rights in Hong Kong.

charlotte.luo@singtaonewscorp.com

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