Most countries of the Asia-Pacific region are against bloc confrontation and NATO expansion in the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a briefing on Monday.
Commenting on statements by representatives of Indonesia, Singapore and several other countries that they do not want to see a new Cold War and do not want to be forced to choose between China and the US, the spokesman said: “The position of most countries in the region is very clear: they oppose the merging of various military blocs in the region, they do not welcome NATO’s expansion into Asia, they do not accept the transfer of bloc confrontation to Asia.” Wang Wenbin pointed out that regional states “will not allow a Cold War or a hot war in Asia.”
He added that Asia is “the region with the greatest potential for growth and development in the world.” According to him, Asia should be a large arena for mutually beneficial cooperation and should not be divided into “closed and exclusive small” blocs.
“Some countries say they are free and open to maintain peace and prosperity in the region, but in reality they are constantly chipping away at various military blocs and trying to push NATO into the Asia-Pacific region,” Wang Wenbin said.
Representatives from Indonesia, Singapore, and several other countries expressed their reluctance to see a new Cold War at the Shangri-La Dialogue international security conference, held June 2-4 in Singapore. There, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu unveiled China’s new security initiative. In his speech at the forum, he noted that the creation of NATO-like military alliances in the Asia-Pacific region would lead to a series of conflicts.