China's Aggressive Behavior in the South China Sea: US Secretary of Defense USA

WASHINGTON: The Chinese Army is behaving aggressively and the Chinese Communist Party has stepped up its disinformation campaign to try to blame it and polish its image, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday.

As the Chinese Communist Party intensifies its disinformation campaign to try to blame and polish its image, we continue to see aggressive behavior by the PLA in the South China Sea, from threatening a Philippine Navy ship to sinking a fishing vessel. Vietnamese and intimidating other nations to get involved in offshore oil and gas development, Esper told reporters at a Pentagon press conference.

Last week, two ships from the US Navy. USA They conducted freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea to send a clear message to Beijing that the United States will continue to protect freedom of navigation and commerce for all nations, large and small, he said.

Many countries, Esper said, have turned inward to recover from the pandemic, and in the meantime, America's strategic competitors are trying to exploit this crisis to their advantage at the expense of others.

Responding to a question, he said that the Chinese have not been transparent from the start in the coronavirus pandemic.

If they had been more transparent, more open, direct in terms of giving us access, the reports did not give us access to the people on the ground but to the virus they had so we could understand it, we would probably be in a very different place right now. But where we are now is this, Esper said.

China needs to allow the United States to speak to and access Chinese early patients, researchers and scientists.

Instead, Esper claimed that the Chinese are trying to capitalize on this by promoting their own image that China is somehow the good person here.

Despite everything they did or, what is more important, they could not do, now they want to go out and say well, there are masks here. We will give you masks, we will provide or we will provide you, we will provide you with funds. Look at all the good things we are doing, he said.

However, what we know is that they provide masks, they provide supplies. In many cases, it is not good. It does not do what it is supposed to do. It is a broken computer. Also, the attached strings are huge in many. So, they tell a country that it can take these masks, but please post how good China is, how well we are doing, and so on and so forth, Esper said.

So there are a number of things they are doing to try to polish their image. That's just two of them, he said.

The Chinese are also making a lot of weapons behind the scenes, Esper said, referring to the war of words between China and Australia. He said he plans to speak to his Australian counterpart later in the day.

All of these activities are happening. It is directly from the Chinese playbook. Again, it's a little bit more obvious this time around with what they're doing and how they're using a combination of force and coercion and everything in between to try and shape the narrative and polish the image of the Chinese Communist Party, he said Wait.