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Beijing warns of Southeast Asia nations becoming ‘chess pieces’ — Analysis

Countries of the region must not be used in “major power rivalry,” Chinese foreign minister says

Southeast Asian nations should not be treated as pawns “major powers”According to Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, they should not be antagonistic.

“We should insulate this region from geopolitical calculations… from being used as chess pieces, from major power rivalry and from coercion,”As quoted by Reuters: Wang spoke in Jakarta (Indonesia) on Monday.

Wang said these comments at an ASEAN meeting. The ASEAN is a 10 member regional economic bloc made up of Southeast Asian states. “The future of our region should be in our own hands,”He said.

According to the minister, countries need to “respect each other’s legitimate rights and interests in the Asia-Pacific instead of aiming to antagonize or contain the other side.” 

Wang claimed that the US wanted to establish a new country in March. “a version of NATO”To stoke tensions within the Indo-Pacific. “The Asia-Pacific is a promising land for cooperation and development, not a chessboard for geopolitical contest,”He said.

Later, however, the White House denied wanting to create. “an Asian version of NATO.”

Monday’s statement from the top Chinese diplomat came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged ASEAN to pressure Myanmar, one of the bloc’s members, where the military seized power in a coup last year.

“I think all the ASEAN countries need to hold the regime accountable… to continue to demand an immediate cessation of violence, the release of political prisoners, and a restoration of Burma’s democratic path,”On Sunday, Blinken said to reporters that he refers to Myanmar as its old name.

On Saturday, Wang met in Indonesia with Blinken. Washington was urged by the Chinese diplomat to abandon China. “the Cold War mentality”And “stop smearing and attacking China’s political system and domestic and foreign policies,”According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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