Singapore (DPA) — China hit back at the US and Japan Sunday for initiating "dispute and trouble" through "provocative action" in speeches made at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, deviated off-script to respond to speeches by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier during the security summit this weekend.
Wang accused the two countries of having coordinated with each other in "targeting China."
"They supported each other, they encouraged each other and they took the advantage of speaking first at the Shangri-La Dialogue and staged provocative action and challenges against China," he said.
Abe had given the opening keynote address on Friday night, while Hagel spoke Saturday morning on the US contribution to regional security. Both criticized China, accusing it of "destabilizing unilateral action" and not abiding by the "rule of law."
Wang criticized Abe for not living up to the "spirit of this dialogue," and described Hagel's speech as "full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation."
China is embroiled in territorial disputes in both the East and South China Seas with Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. Tensions with Hanoi reached a high point following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat last week. Both sides blamed each other for the incident.
Wang also accused Japan and the US of stoking tensions.
"On bilateral and multilateral occasions and at the Shangri-La Dialogue, China has never been the first to provoke dispute and trouble," he said. "I think everyone understands who actually initiated dispute and trouble."