On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that the United States is intentionally escalating global tensions to maintain its dominant position, and he cautioned about the potential for conflicts involving major nations. While addressing a defense conference in Beijing, Shoigu also asserted that the U.S. and its allies in the Asia-Pacific are destabilizing the region.
Shoigu has stated that the NATO nations are contributing to an arms race in the area by increasing their military presence and conducting larger and more frequent military exercises there. He also mentioned that U.S. forces plan to utilize information sharing with Japan and South Korea regarding missile launches to deter both Russia and China. Additionally, Shoigu accused the United States of attempting to use climate change and natural disasters as a pretext for humanitarian interventions.
He expressed concerns about the emergence of new security alliances like the Quad and AUKUS, asserting that these developments undermine the significance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in the region.
Furthermore, Shoigu clarified that Russia’s decision to withdraw its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty should not be interpreted as the end of the agreement, and Russia is not reducing its threshold for the use of nuclear weapons.
Regarding Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, Shoigu expressed Moscow’s willingness to engage in negotiations if the appropriate conditions are met.
Shoigu’s remarks came immediately after Zhang Youxia, China’s second-highest-ranking military official and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, spoke at the three-day event. Zhang had assumed this role in the absence of Gen. Li Shangfu, who had been China’s defense minister but was removed from his position last week following a two-month period during which he was not publicly visible.
Zhang has called for a political resolution to the Ukraine crisis and an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a focus on restarting peace negotiations. China officially maintains a stance of neutrality in the Ukraine war, but it tends to align with Russia in practice, as evidenced by frequent state visits and joint military exercises between the two nations.
In the case of the Israel-Hamas conflict, China aims to position itself as a mediator, although experts believe its influence in the conflict is limited. China officially claims neutrality in the Ukraine conflict, but in practice, it exhibits a preference for Russia, as demonstrated by the regular exchange of state visits and joint military exercises between the two countries.