Defense: China meets USA at security conference in Singapore

Defense: China meets USA at security conference in Singapore

From Taiwan to the South China Sea: The relationship between China and the USA is complex and highly strained. At a security conference in Singapore, there was another direct conversation.

In the power struggle between the superpowers USA and China, the defense ministers of both countries sought direct talks at an important security conference in Singapore. The meeting between Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin took place on Friday on the sidelines of the three-day security conference Shangri-La Dialogue, as both sides confirmed. The conversation also covered issues relating to Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Austin expressed concerns about the activities of the Chinese military around Taiwan, the US Department of Defense said. He also spoke about China’s role in supporting Russia’s defense industry.

At the conference in the Southeast Asian economic metropolis, which started on Friday and lasts until Sunday, hundreds of ministers, military officers and experts from all over the world will discuss the current crisis areas and threats in the world. Topics such as artificial intelligence, cyber defense and future forms of warfare will also be discussed.

Under Dong Jun’s missing predecessor, Li Shangfu, there was radio silence between the defense authorities on both sides because the US had imposed sanctions on Li in connection with Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. Beijing had deposed Li for reasons that are still officially unknown. He had not been seen since a public appearance at the end of August.

Dispute over Taiwan

Since the meeting between China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in San Francisco in November, the military of both sides have also resumed contact. Beijing believes that strategic communication at a high level will help stabilize relations between the military, said Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian before the start of the conference. China is open to this.

However, there are considerable tensions between the two countries, particularly in the dispute over democratically governed Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its territory. The USA has promised the island state support in the event of a defensive situation. The United States is also allied with the Philippines, with whom Beijing regularly engages in confrontations in the South China Sea over some reefs that China claims for itself.

In the evening, a keynote speech by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was on the agenda, in which the disputes with China and the constant incidents in the maritime area are also likely to play a role.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is considered the most important security policy forum in the Indo-Pacific region at the level of defense ministers. It is organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Source: Stern

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