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Famines caused by higher prices, heat waves in Italy and India, Russia’s attack on Ukraine – as if we didn’t have enough crises already, a new, very big concern has been added to the list: the escalating tensions between China and the USA.
The security conference in Singapore over the weekend, which is of great importance for the region, did not promote the desired communication. It was dominated by the simmering conflict between the two world powers. The defense ministers of both countries traded fierce blows over Taiwan and China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea. But despite all the fierceness – it is a good sign that both sides are at least holding out the prospect of continued talks in the future, analyzes Michael Radunski.
Omicron also remains one of the big concerns of these months. The virus remains unpredictable. So it is highly questionable that the CP leadership sticks downright fanatically to its zero-Covid strategy. But it is interesting to note that while two million Shanghainese have to go back into lockdown after only a few days of reopening, life in Beijing, which is actually stricter, is largely normal. What makes Beijing different from Shanghai? Frank Sieren explores this question. His answer: Shanghai was far too late with its measures – at Beijing’s behest.
Open clash in Singapore
China’s Minister of Defense Wei Fenghe met his American counterpart Lloyd Austin in person for the first time on the weekend. The stage for the meeting is the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. This is the most important security conference in the Asia-Pacific region. But relations between China and the US are extremely tense, with disputes ranging from the Uyghurs in Xinjiang to the South China Sea and from Taiwan to China’s position on the Ukraine war.
And so, Wei Fenghe wastes no time in Singapore on pleasantries. On Friday – even before the official opening of the conference – China’s top military officer sets the tone: While directly talking to Austin, Wei strongly warns of a potential war. “If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost.” Any conspiracy to bring independence to Taiwan would be crushed, and the unification of the motherland would be resolutely upheld. Wei makes it unequivocally clear: “Taiwan is China’s Taiwan”.
China’s Minister of Defense then followed up in the same tone when he gave his official speech at the Shangri-La Forum on Sunday – just as determined and just as unequivocal: “If anyone dares to secede Taiwan from China, we will not hesitate to fight,” Wei said. “We will fight at all costs, and we will fight to the very end“. No one should underestimate the determination and ability of Chinese forces to maintain their territorial integrity. This primarily was aimed at the United States.
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