China warns Asian countries to be vigilant on US strategy in region

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, right, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi before their meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 13, 2020. (H2O Image via AFP)
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Updated 13 October 2020

China warns Asian countries to be vigilant on US strategy in region

  • ‘China and ASEAN have full capacity and wisdom, as well as responsibility to maintain peace and tranquility in (the) South China Sea’

KUALA LUMPUR: The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi urged on Tuesday Asian countries to remain “vigilant” over the risk of US strategy stoking geopolitical competition in the South China Sea and other parts of the region.
Beijing and members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should work together to remove “external disruption” in the South China Sea, Wang said during a joint news conference with Malaysia’s foreign minister.
“We (China and Malaysia) are both of the view that the South China Sea should not be a ground for major power wrestling teeming with warships,” said Wang, who is on a short Southeast Asian tour.
“China and ASEAN have full capacity and wisdom, as well as responsibility to maintain peace and tranquility in (the) South China Sea.”
Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said disputes over the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully through regional dialogue.
China, which has for years been locked in maritime disputes with other coastal states in the South China Sea, has in recent months held military exercises in disputed parts of the strategic waterway, while Washington has accused China of attempting to build a “maritime empire” in the area.
Wang described Washington’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy, which aims to cast the United States as a trustworthy partner in the region, as a “security risk” for East Asia.
“What it pursues is to trumpet the old-fashioned cold war mentality and start up confrontation among different groups and blocks, and stoke geopolitical competition,” he said.
“I believe all parties sees this clearly and will stay vigilant against it.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has previously said Washington wants a “free and open” Asia not dominated by any one country.
During Tuesday’s joint briefing, Malaysia’s Hishammuddin said China had committed to purchase 1.7 million tons of palm oil until 2023 and had pledged to encourage increased shipments of sustainably produced Malaysian palm oil.


Turkey's coronavirus death toll hits record for seventh day in a row

Updated 29 November 2020

Turkey's coronavirus death toll hits record for seventh day in a row

ISTANBUL: Turkey's daily COVID-19 death toll hit a record high for a seventh consecutive day on Sunday, with 185 fatalities in the last 24 hours, data from the Health Ministry showed.
The number of new cases of coronavirus infections, including asymptomatic ones, fell slightly to 29,281. For four months, Turkey only reported symptomatic cases, but since Wednesday it has reported all cases.
The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic in March stood at 13,558.