CHINA has suggested that the US defence secretary brush up on his history after he urged Beijing (北京) not to build a “Great Wall (長城) of self-isolation”. Beijing said the Great Wall was built to keep out invaders not as a hindrance to contact.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter (卡特) made the remarks at a security dialogue in Singapore (新加坡) where the United States and Asian (亞洲) nations tried to put pressure on Beijing to rein in its actions in the disputed South China Sea (南中國海).
Ministry of Defense (國防部) spokesman Wu Qian (吳謙) said Carter’s comments had been noted.
“As for the Great Wall, those who have studied Chinese history all know that it was defensive,” Wu said.
“It was to keep out the cruel oppression of invaders, not friendly envoys or free trade.”
Wu also brushed off the isolation remark, saying Beijing’s friends spanned the world, and more and more countries supported its position on the South China Sea.
“Individual countries cannot represent the international community. If there are people who make false charges that ‘China is isolating itself’ to actually try to isolate China, then that’s simply flogging a dead horse.”
Despite the tensions between China and the United States, Beijing has sent ships to participate in a major US-hosted naval drill, the Rim of the Pacific exercise (環太平洋軍事演習).
Wu said the Chinese flotilla had already arrived in Hawaii.
“We believe participation in the drill will help to steel and raise our navy’s ability to deal with non-traditional security threats, and deepen China’s professional exchanges and cooperation with relevant countries.”
(This article is published on Sing Tao Daily on 8 July 2016)
Ministry of Defence