- Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2023
Find top stories and features from Asia and the Pacific region. Keep updated on major political stories and analyses from Asia and the Pacific. All you want to know about China, Japan, North and South Korea, India and Pakistan, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

US, China Reportedly Eyeing Face-to-Face Meeting Between Top Defense Officials Amid Taiwan Row

© AP Photo / Andy Wong / FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017 file photo, an American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony for visiting U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017 file photo, an American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony for visiting U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.05.2022
Tensions between China and the United States have only been growing in recent months with the implementation of the Biden administration's plan to reformat foreign policy to curb the growth of China's influence in its native region. Recently, Beijing reacted angrily after Biden suggested the US would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan.
China and the US are attempting to arrange what would be the first face-to-face meeting between their senior defense officials on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore in June amid escalating tensions over Taiwan, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has already announced that he will attend the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual defense conference that will take place this year from June 10 to 12, but the presence of Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe has not been announced as of yet, although those familiar with the matter reportedly said the minister is expected to attend in person.
The Journal notes that primarily because of growing tensions between the US and China over Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing considers an integral part of China, a meeting between Austin and Wei would be seen as significant.
However, WSJ sources reportedly warned that a meeting between Wei and Austin had not yet been agreed upon and that arrangements could change at any time.
Earlier this month, Austin told the Senate Appropriations Committee that he expects to meet with Wei in Singapore and that such a meeting would "promote security and stability in the region."
"We both recognize the importance of a dialogue and maintaining open channels," Austin said. "I look forward to again engaging him in the future—in the not-too-distant future."
In late April, Austin and Wei spoke on the phone for the first time. According to the Pentagon's account of the call, the two discussed defense relations, regional security issues, and Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
Wei had warned that if the Taiwan issue is not handled efficiently, it will have a "disruptive impact" on US-China relations, adding that Beijing's military will safeguard national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity, according to the China Defense Ministry's summary of the conversation.
There are no indications that China intends to take Taiwan under its authority by force, but Beijing has not ruled out the possibility of using its military to take over the island. Meanwhile, administrations in Washington, DC, have long refused to say whether the US military would intervene if China attacked Taiwan, ostensibly to avoid a conflict.
Following his remarks in Tokyo, US President Joe Biden stated that Washington's position toward Taiwan has not changed, although he claimed the US was ready to intervene "militarily" if a crisis broke out around the island.
Welcoming Chinese warships in Vladivostok - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.05.2022
Biden's 'Strategic Confusion': Why China Won't Fall Into US Traps in Taiwan & Indo-Pacific
During the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2019, Wei, who was the commander of China's strategic missile force before being appointed defense minister in 2018, spoke with then-acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Because of COVID-19, the event, organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank, was canceled in 2020 and 2021.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала