US Defence Secretary warns of aggressive behaviour by China in South China Sea

by Jaimy Lee

Washington DC: The Chinese army is reportedly indulging in aggressive behaviour in South China Sea. The Communist party of China has started a disinformation campaign for making an effort to shift the blame on Corona virus and burnish its image. It was said by the US Défense Secretary, Mr. Mark Esper on Tuesday.

US Defence Secretary warns

“While the Chinese Communist party ramps up its disinformation campaign to try to shift blame and burnish its image, we continue to see aggressive behaviour by the PLA in the South China Sea, from threatening a Philippine Navy Ship to sinking  a Vietnamese Fishing Boat, and intimidating other nations from engaging in offshore oil and gas development.” It was told by Mark Esper at Pentagon news conference.

Two US navy ships conducted freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea last week. It was to send aclear message to Beijing that America will continue to protect the freedom of navigation and commerce for all nations large and small, he said.

Esper said many countries have turned inwards to recover from the pandemic. In the meantime, the strategic competitors of America are trying to exploit this crisis to their benefits at the expense of others.

He said, responding to a question that the Chinese have not been transparent from the very beginning on the Corona virus pandemic.

“If they had been more transparent, more open, upfront in terms of giving us access, the reporting, giving us access, not to the people on the ground but to the virus they had so we could understand it, we would probably be in a different spot right now. But where we are now is this.” Mark Esper said.

He further added that China needs to allow the United States in to talk to the early patients, the Chinese researchers and the scientists, and to have access.

Mark Esper alleged that the Chinese are trying to capitalize on this by promoting their own image that somehow, China is the good guy here, instead of doing the necessary things.

“Despite everything they did or, more importantly, failed to do, now they want to go out and say well, here is masks. We will give you masks, provide this, or provide that, we will provide you funding. Look at the good things we are doing.” He said.

“Yet, what we know is that they provide masks, they provide supplies. In many cases it is not good. It does not do what it is supposed to do. It is broken equipment. Also, the strings attached are enormous in many cases. So, they are telling a country you can take these masks, but please, put out publicly how good China is, how good we are doing, et cetera, et cetera.” Mark Esper said.

“So, there is number of things they are doing to try and burnish their image. That is just two of them right there.” He further said.

The Chinse are also doing lots of strong arming. It is behind the scene. Mark Esper said and referred to the war of words between China and Australia. He said he plans to talk to his Australian counterpart later in the day.

“All these activities are going on. It is straight from the Chinese playbook. Once again, it is just a little bit more obvious this time and what they are doing and how they are using a combination of compelling and coercion and everything else to try and shape the narrative and burnish the image of Chinese Communist Party.” Esper said to PTI LKJ.

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