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China refuses to hold talks with U.S. defense minister

Posted May. 31, 2023 07:57,   

Updated May. 31, 2023 07:57


The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and others reported on Monday (local time) that China rejected the U.S. proposal to hold a meeting between the US and Chinese defense ministers at the Asian Security Conference (Shangri-La Dialogue) to be held in Singapore on the 2nd to 4th of next month. It is unusual for China to reject the U.S. request for talks at the Shangri-La Dialogue, attended by all the security commanders of major Asian countries, for no apparent reason. At this event last year, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe at the time and discussed North Korea and Taiwan issues.

China did not give a clear reason for the refusal. However, some criticize that the move is in retaliation for the US not yet lifting the sanctions of Chinese Defense Minister Li Xiangfu, who was on the U.S. sanctions list in 2018 for leading the purchase of Russian weapons. With North Korea announcing the launch of its first military reconnaissance satellite, tensions are expected to continue over pending military issues between the two countries, including US arms support for Taiwan and the establishment of a military base in the South China Sea.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is an annual security conference hosted by the British think tank, the Institute for Strategic and International Studies (IISS). Defense ministers from Korea, the United States, China, Russia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and major European countries will attend to discuss security issues.