The minister of defense in Russia accused the United States on Monday of fueling tensions in regions around the world.
While appearing at a defense forum that was held in Beijing earlier this week, Sergei Shoigu said that the “steady escalation” by the west increases the threat that a large-scale military conflict could happen between major nuclear powers.
Those comments were made at the Xiangshan Forum, which is an annual event held by China that’s supposed to promote military diplomacy. Representatives from countries around the world attend the forum, including officials from the U.S.
As Shoigu said in his remarks:
“Washington for years has deliberately undermined and destroyed the foundations of international security and strategic stability, including the system of arms control agreements.”
The defense minister further said that America and all of its allies in the West have been threatening Russia through NATO by expanding the footprint of the organization into the Asia-Pacific region. He said that’s being done under pretenses that they’re trying to collaborate and dialogue with countries in the region.
As he said:
“The Western line of steady escalation of the conflict with Russia carries the threat of a direct military clash between nuclear powers, which is fraught with catastrophic consequences.”
Shoigu did say, though, that his country was open to peace negotiations regarding the Ukraine war, provided the right conditions. However, he didn’t expand on what he meant by that.
Following the speech that Shoigu gave, Zhang Youxia, the second highest-ranking military official in China – and the Central Military Commission’s vice chairman – took the podium. While he didn’t name America directly, he did say that “certain countries … keep stirring up troubles around the world.”
That being said, Zhang said his country was “willing to develop military ties with the U.S. on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.”
Back in August of 2022, China suspended all military communication with its counterparts in America, over the displeasure it had when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a visit to Taiwan. China considers Taiwan to be part of its country, rather than an independent, sovereign nation.
Cynthia Carras led the American delegation at the conference. She is the Department of Defense’s leading official on China.
The rhetoric that was spewed at the conference by the Russian and Chinese officials is fairly typical of what they’ve been doing for quite some time now. They consistently accuse the United States specifically – as well as other western countries – of meddling in foreign affairs too much and increasing tensions as a result.
Of course, the real reason why they want the U.S. to stay out of these foreign affairs is because it stunts the progress they want to make around the world. For instance, Russia doesn’t want the west to help Ukraine so that it can take parts of the country that it believes belongs to them. Same thing goes with China and Taiwan.
These are just a few examples, too. The rhetoric always remains the same, even if the subject matter changes.