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China accuses US of provoking tensions due to its support for Taiwan, Philippines

China accuses US of provoking tensions due to its support for Taiwan, Philippines China's Minister of Defense Dong Jun (photo from open sources)

China has acknowledged the importance of recently restored military communications with the United States amid escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific region. However, Beijing has accused Washington of provoking misunderstandings through its support for Taiwan and the Philippines, according to China's Defense Minister, Dong Jun.

"We will not allow anyone to bring geopolitical conflicts or any war, whether hot or cold, into our region," he said at the Shangri-La defense forum in Singapore.

Dong also accused the Philippines of deliberately provoking China, encouraged by external forces.

"China has recognized great restraint in the face of such infringements and provocations. But there is a limit to our restraint," he said.

Dong met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Singapore forum. This marked the first personal talks between senior Chinese and American defense officials since the military contacts were severed in 2022 after then-Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, angering Beijing.

Tension in the Asian region

Beijing increasingly asserts its claims over virtually the entire South China Sea, a key global shipping route.

Relations between China and the Philippines have deteriorated in recent years due to the policies of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who, after his election in 2022, chose a course of rapprochement with the United States.

This has led to an increase in conflicts, particularly with the Philippines, whose ships have been rammed by Chinese vessels and fired upon with water cannons.

After territorial clashes with China erupted in the South China Sea last year, the Marcos Jr. administration took steps to create new security alliances with several Asian and Western countries and allowed for an increased US military presence at more Philippine bases.

China also continues to assert its claims over Taiwan. In particular, at the Singapore forum, Dong warned that anyone supporting Taiwan's independence faces self-destruction.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that despite the escalation of tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, a war with China is neither close nor inevitable.