Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

US Defense Secretary expressed concern about China's military activity

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun1,2024

The US Secretary of Defense expressed concern about China's military activity

Photo: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with his Chinese counterpart Dong Jun in Singapore on May 31 to discuss U.S.-China defense relations, as well as regional and global security issues.

Austin stressed the importance of maintaining open lines of military communication between the two countries and reiterated President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping's November 2023 announcement that the two sides would resume military-to-military telephone calls in the coming months, and also welcomed plans to convene a working group on crisis communications by the end of the year.

"The Minister expressed concern about the recent provocative activities of the Chinese People's Liberation Army around the Taiwan Strait and reiterated that the PRC should not use the transit of power in Taiwan– part of the normal, routine democratic process – as a reason for coercive measures",– Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said in a statement.

Austin also discussed Russia's war against Ukraine and China's role in supporting Russia's defense industrial base. The secretary expressed concern about recent provocations by the DPRK, including its direct contribution to Russia's ongoing attack on Ukraine.

China previously held two days of military exercises around Taiwan, during which it simulated bomber attacks and practiced loading onto ships. Taiwan condemned the drills as a “blatant provocation.”

Chinese authorities said the drills were a “punishment” for the inaugural speech of newly elected Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te, in which he said that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait “are not subordinate to each other.”

Lai has repeatedly proposed negotiations with China, but was refused. He argues that only the people of Taiwan can decide their future.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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