China warns ASEAN nations to avoid being used as ‘chess pieces’ by big powers

July 11, 2022 - 2:13 PM
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia July 9, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via Reuters)

 China’s foreign minister Wang Yi warned on Monday that countries in Southeast Asia must avoid being used as “chess pieces” by major powers during a policy speech in the Indonesian capital.

Speaking at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat in Jakarta, Wang said that many countries in the region were under pressure to take sides in a region at risk of being “reshaped by political factors”.

“We should insulate this region from geopolitical calculations… from being used as chess pieces from major power rivalry and from coercion,” he said, adding: “The future of our region should be in our own hands.”

—Reporting by Ryan Woo in Beijing; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Ed Davies