Afghanistan and a new Asia-Pacific security alliance will be high on the agenda in late October when China hosts its annual high-level military conference, the Beijing Xiangshan Forum.
Defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday that the two-day forum would be held from October 25 via video link, and would include a session on the fallout from Afghanistan on regional security.
It comes in the aftermath of the US-Nato withdrawal from the Central Asian nation, allowing the Taliban to seize power. The international community has not recognised the new regime and Afghanistan is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis without foreign aid, the foundation of its economy.
Beijing has called for ending economic sanctions on the country and for a resumption of aid.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned last week that worsening conditions in the country could create a refugee problem, imposing a serious economic and security burden on neighbouring countries and the international community.
China’s first batch of humanitarian aid – including blankets and other winter supplies – arrived in Kabul late on Wednesday, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The forum also comes just weeks after the launch of Aukus, an alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia to counter China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific.
Wu also repeated Beijing’s opposition to the alliance, which will give Australia access to nuclear-powered submarine technology.
Beijing says the alliance will pose a serious risk of nuclear proliferation and a resurgence of cold war mentality.
Wu said other topics of the forum would include Asia-Pacific security, multilateralism, the role of small and medium-sized countries in international security and international security cooperation amid the pandemic.
He also voiced opposition to Britain’s military deployment in the region.
“China has noticed that the British side has greatly increased its military deployment in the Asia-Pacific region since the beginning of this year, which is not conducive to regional peace and stability,” he said.
“The Chinese military will take necessary measures to earnestly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and safeguard regional stability and prosperity.”
Earlier this month two British patrol vessels started a five-year deployment to the Asia-Pacific to bolster the country’s presence in the region.
Wu also warned Japan not to interfere in Taiwan affairs and said Asian countries should remain on high alert for Japanese military deployments and efforts to develop cyber and space capabilities.
Launched in 2006, the forum attracts military leaders and researchers, heads of international organisations and former politicians from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
“The forum aims to host deep discussions on hotspot security issues and focus on cooperation to contribute to understanding … to maintain world peace and stability,” Wu said.