New Delhi: China and India are neighbours and it is prudent for them to have good relations, China’s Minister of National Defence General Wei Fenghe said Sunday, while blaming New Delhi for the military standoff in Ladakh.

Addressing the fifth plenary session of the Shangri-La Dialogue 2022 in Singapore, Fenghe – who is also State Councillor – said in response to a question about the clash in Galwan: “China and India are neighbours. Maintaining a good relationship meets the interests of both countries and that is what we are working on.

“But on frictions along the border areas, the merits of the issue is clear. I personally experienced the start and end of the frictions as Defence minister. We have found a lot of weapons owned by the Indian side. They have also sent people to the Chinese side of the territory.”

General Fenghe went further to say that India and China have held 15 rounds of Corps Commander level negotiations and the two sides are “working for peace” in the region.

Unpacking China’s philosophy for regional order, General Fenghe said, “Our world is facing multiple crises rarely seen in history, the way forward is to uphold and practice multilateralism. Peace and development should be a shared goal of humanity.”

In his speech, Fenghe also spoke about China’s stand on the war in Ukraine and Beijing’s claim on Taiwan.

US Trying To ‘Hijack’ Support of Indo-Pacific Nations

In a direct rebuke to US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, Fenghe declared that Beijing disagreed with the former’s comments and “firmly rejected accusations the US is smearing China with”.

General Wei Fenghe of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) added that the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy was trying to “hijack” the support of countries in the Indo-Pacific region to turn them against Beijing. Fenghe also stated that the US was seeking to advance its own interests “under the guise of multilateralism”.

“Building a high wall around one’s world and parallel systems will only cause more disruption,” he said, alluding to the Covid-induced trend of decoupling from markets and reorienting supply chains.

Reiterating that China seeks only “peace and stability”, he appealed to the United States to “strengthen solidarity and oppose confrontation and division”.

General Fenghe also stated that US-China bilateral ties were at a “critical juncture”, and it was up to Washington to improve them.

China Not In Favour of War In Ukraine

A knock-on effect of the war in Ukraine has been an explosion of crises across the world, he said at the regional security conference, adding that as a result, “our world is neither peaceful nor tranquil”.

General Fenghe said China does not support the war in Ukraine. He, however, reiterated China’s stand that “sanctions” are not the solution. China supports the end of the war through dialogue and is committed to taking this approach forward, he said.

“What is the root cause of this crisis? Who is responsible for it? Who loses the most? I think we all know the answers to these questions,” he said, without offering any answers to these rhetorical questions or stating China’s position.

Asserting China’s long-standing position on Taiwan, Fenghe added that China would not let Taiwan gain independence.

“If anyone dares to secede Taiwan from China, we will not hesitate to fight. We will fight at all costs. And we will fight to the very end. This is the only choice for China,” he said.