During the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu warned that if the United States and China were to engage in a future conflict, it would result in an "unbearable disaster for the world."
Li Shangfu emphasized the importance of peaceful coexistence and urged both powerful nations to foster mutual growth while avoiding confrontations. His remarks came amidst the United States' condemnation of what they described as unsafe and aggressive actions by a Chinese PLA Navy warship in the Taiwan Strait, coinciding with the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon conducting a 'freedom of navigation' passage on Saturday, reports Summit News.
“It is undeniable that a severe conflict or confrontation between China and the US would be an unbearable disaster for the world,” Li said.
During the conference, the highest-ranking Chinese defense official declined to engage in a formal bilateral meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin. However, they did exchange a cordial handshake, indicating a level of civility between the two.
Li also stated that China “believes that a big power should behave like one, instead of provoking bloc confrontation for self-interest," urging Washington to “take concrete action” in an effort to establish shared understanding with China and to reverse the deteriorating state of their relationship.
Li also stated at the defense summit over the weekend that “some country” practices “exceptionalism and double standards and only serves the interests and follows the rules of a small number of countries.”
He added that China remains “strongly opposed to imposing one’s own will on others, placing one’s own interests above those of others and pursuing one’s own security at the expense of others.”