China’s military accused the United States of undermining regional stability and provoking confrontation, just days after the top generals of the two countries held their first talks in more than a year.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said on Monday that it had conducted air and naval drills near Taiwan and the South China Sea, in response to what it called the US’ “frequent provocations and interference”.
The PLA also warned the US to stop selling arms to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, and to refrain from sending warships and planes near the island.
The harsh rhetoric came after the chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, spoke to his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng, on Thursday, ending a long freeze in military communication.
The two sides agreed to resume dialogue and manage competition in a responsible manner, according to the Pentagon.
However, the PLA said that the US had not changed its “hostile attitude” towards China, and had continued to interfere in China’s internal affairs and infringe on its sovereignty and security interests.
The PLA said that the US had recently sent spy planes to conduct close-in reconnaissance near China’s coast, and had approved a new arms sale to Taiwan worth $330 million.
The PLA also accused the US of colluding with “separatist forces” in Taiwan and encouraging them to seek independence.
The PLA said that such actions had seriously damaged the foundation of mutual trust and cooperation between the two militaries, and had increased the risk of accidents and conflicts.
The PLA urged the US to respect China’s core interests and major concerns, and to take concrete actions to improve bilateral relations and maintain regional peace and stability.
It also reiterated that China had the determination and capability to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to safeguard its development interests.