Displaying items by tag: Asian security summit
A meeting between China’s defence minister Wei Fenghe and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin took place during an Asian security summit in Singapore. The hour-long meeting took double the time allotted. The USA is concerned about China’s increasingly unsafe, aggressive, unprofessional military behaviour, which indicates an attempt to change the status quo. A Chinese fighter plane dangerously intercepted an Australian military surveillance plane over the South China Sea, and Chinese warplanes harassed Canada’s aircraft monitoring North Korean sanction evasions. ‘If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost,’ said Fenghe. The Chinese minister also pledged, ‘Beijing will smash to smithereens any Taiwan independence plot and resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland. Taiwan is China’s Taiwan. Using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail.’ Joe Biden intends to spend more time on Asian security issues after months focusing on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
‘Machine guns and fighter jets are not our primary security concern. The single greatest threat to our very existence is climate change, not military tensions’, Fiji defence minister Inia Seruiratu told delegates at the Asian security summit in Singapore, which up to that point had focused on China-US tensions and the Ukraine war. He told delegates, ‘Cyclones have repeatedly battered Fiji and other low-lying Pacific countries. Climate change threatens our very hopes and dreams of prosperity. Waves are crashing at our doorsteps, winds are battering our homes, we are being assaulted by this enemy from many angles.’ In recent years human-induced devastating climate change has displaced thousands of people who have been inundated by floods. Floods and cyclones have also wrought economic havoc, and Pacific states have urged advanced industrialised nations to do more to combat climate change. The world is now 1.2C warmer than it was in the 19th century - mainly because of burning fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases.