“China Warns Against ‘New Cold War’ as Major Powers Gather for ASEAN Summit”

China Warns Against "New Cold War" as Major Powers Gather for ASEAN Summit

As top Asian and U.S. officials gathered for talks in Indonesia, Chinese Premier Li Qiang expressed concern about the possibility of a new Cold War, a thinly veiled reference to Washington. The comments come amid rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, with Beijing expressing unease about U.S.-backed blocs forming on its doorstep and disputes over the South China Sea and other issues.

Li Qiang stated, “Disagreements and disputes may arise between countries due to misperceptions, diverging interests, or external interferences. To keep differences under control, what is essential now is to oppose picking sides, to oppose bloc confrontation, and to oppose a new Cold War.”

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is holding separate summits with major powers such as China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Canada. These meetings provide an arena for big powers to engage with the ASEAN bloc and for rivalries to play out.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is attending in place of President Joe Biden, while Li Qiang is participating instead of President Xi Jinping. The meetings are seen as an opportunity to address key geopolitical issues in the region.

Chinese-Japanese tensions are expected to be prominent, with a dispute over the release of treated wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. The host country, Indonesia, emphasized that ASEAN would not become a proxy for big power competition.

The summit meetings will conclude with joint statements focusing on closer diplomatic, economic, and food security collaboration between the major powers and ASEAN.

Topics such as the South China Sea and Myanmar are expected to be addressed in these statements. However, experts believe ASEAN leaders are unlikely to confront China directly to avoid angering Beijing and risking their relationships with major powers.

While the summit offers an opportunity for dialogue and diplomacy, regional tensions continue to simmer, making the delicate balancing act for ASEAN leaders more challenging than ever.

Sources By Agencies

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