China urges Southeast Asia to avoid being «used as chess pieces» by «big powers»

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during an address to ASEAN. – Kusuma Pandu Wijaya/ASEAN Secret / DPA

Chinese authorities have called on Southeast Asian nations to avoid being «used as chess pieces» in the international «great power» rivalry for «hegemony and intimidation.»

During his speech to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the countries to stay out of international conflicts and «the trap of the law of the jungle.»

According to Wang, the region must overcome attempts to divide it into «confrontational and exclusive groups», in what appears to be an indirect allusion to the rivalry between China and the United States and Washington’s calls for its regional allies to position themselves in its favor.

Prominent among these are the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) countries, formed by Japan, India, the United States and Australia, and the security alliance that the latter two maintain with the United Kingdom in the so-called AUKUS.

«We should uphold true regional cooperation that unites countries within the region and remain open to countries outside, and reject the kind of fake regional cooperation maintained by a certain country outside,» Wang has said, in what is seen as an indirect mention of the United States.

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