China is quite pissed off after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter mentioned the country as much as 22 times while giving a speech at a U.S. Naval Academy. Now China is accusing the U.S. of “thinking with a Cold War” mentality and handling the rising tension like it is an upcoming “Hollywood blockbuster” that would be scripted and directed by U.S. military officials.
At a speech during the U.S. Naval Academy Commencement at Annapolis, Maryland, Carter had decided to focus on issues surrounding the Asia Pacific region “where China is rising, which is fine, but behaving aggressively, which is not.” He also talked about the need to preserve the freedom of navigation and overflight as guaranteed by international law, saying that the U.S. is committed to ensuring that this is upheld since “only by ensuring that everyone plays by the same rules can we avoid the mistakes of the past.”
By “everyone,” Carter also meant China, and he noted that the country has recently been “pressing excessive maritime claims contrary to international law” along the South China Sea. Because of these recent aggressive actions as well as China’s recent actions in cyberspace, Carter believes that China may end up erecting a “Great Wall of self-isolation” despite Beijing’s public claim of striking a win-win cooperation with the U.S. and other nations.
In response, China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had accused the U.S. of using Cold War mentality in order to “fabricate alarming news and stories and seek and creates opponents for themselves around the world.” For Beijing, U.S.’ endgame is simply to be able to send large amounts of highly advanced weapons into Asia Pacific and perhaps, a movie in Hollywood orchestrated by U.S. military officials.
Nonetheless, Hua Chunying also pointed out that the U.S. and China “have everything to gain from cooperation and to loose from confrontation.” Beijing is hopeful that the two countries can work together in a “positive, inclusive and cooperative way.”
Meanwhile, Carter said, “The United doesn’t seek confrontation with China.” However, when it comes to recent actions along the South China Sea, he also insisted, “China’s actions there challenge fundamental principles, and we can’t look the other way.”