At the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum, China's top general, Zhang Youxia, warned against the revival of a "Cold War mentality."
According to Asianews Network, he criticized unnamed countries for promoting unilateralism and having a zero-sum mindset.
General Zhang emphasized the need for mutual respect, peaceful co-existence, and win-win cooperation, particularly between China and the U.S., whose relations have been strained.
U.S. and Western Presence at the Forum
The U.S. and other Western countries like Britain and Canada sent lower-level delegations to the three-day security conference. For the U.S., the delegation was led by Ms. Xanthi Carras, principal director in the office of the deputy assistant secretary of defense for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia.
General Zhang and General He Weidong, both vice-chairmen of China's military high command, played key diplomatic roles at the event. They are ranked second and third, respectively, in China's military hierarchy after President Xi Jinping. The previous defense minister, General Li Shangfu, was removed earlier in October amid corruption investigations.
General Zhang called for renewed efforts to eliminate wars and conflicts, citing ongoing issues in Ukraine and the Middle East. He praised China's role in brokering a historic deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March, describing it as a "victory for dialogue and peace."
On Taiwan, General Zhang reiterated that the issue is central to China's core interests and warned against any attempts to separate Taiwan from China. He stated that the Chinese military would "never agree and will not show mercy" to anyone who tries to do so.
The latest edition of the Xiangshan Forum attracted over 500 representatives from around 90 countries and international organizations, including more than 30 ministerial-level representatives and military chiefs. Singapore's delegation was led by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.