Singapore: A top Chinese General today accused Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe and US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel of "coordinating" and "supporting" each other in their "provocative" remarks targeted at China at the Shangri-La Dialogue here.
Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of Staff of the People`s Liberation Army, said Abe and Hagel had made "unwanted criticisms against China" which was "unacceptable".
Speaking at the 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit at the Dialogue today, Lt Gen Wang, heading the Chinese delegation, deviated halfway through his prepared speech and said the criticism by Abe and Hagel was "completely out of my expectation."
In his keynote address at the opening of the Dialogue on Friday, Abe had outlined his vision for a more robust Japanese role in the region`s peace and security, arguing that no country could secure peace on its own in a complex new environment.
Abe did not directly name China in his address but criticised Beijing`s behaviour in the region`s territorial disputes, especially the South China Sea.
Speaking at the same forum, Hagel denounced China`s "destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea."
"In recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea," Hagel said in his speech yesterday.
Responding today, Lt Gen Wang hit back at the Japanese Premier for his veiled comments, and said that "it is better to be more direct",?in reference to Mr Hagel`s blunt remarks.
"This is simply unimaginable," said Wang, the highest ranking military official in the Chinese delegation, adding that the speeches were "unacceptable and not in the spirit of this Shangri-La Dialogue".