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China rejects meeting of defense ministers with US

China rejects meeting of defense ministers with US

China has rejected the US request for a meeting between the defense ministers of the two countries. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said in Beijing that “the United States is aware of the difficulties in the military dialogue between China and the United States.”

He did not repeat his call for the lifting of US sanctions against Li Shangfu, the general and current defense minister. But Mao Ning demanded that the United States correct its mistakes and create a “necessary atmosphere” for the meeting.

The US has requested a meeting between Lloyd Austin and General Li Shangfu on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Defense Dialogue in Singapore from Friday to Sunday. However, the Chinese side refused to meet, a Pentagon spokesman said.

One of the recent incidents between the two states:

In 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on the People’s Liberation Army’s Arms Development Department and its then-head Li Shangfu for arms deals with Russia, banning financial transactions and business ties with the United States.

The U.S. government did not see this as a problem when Austin met with Li Shangfu, China’s new defense minister, in March.

While relations with the US remain on hold, China-Russia cooperation is growing closer:

China’s Defense Minister Li has visited Moscow. Li and Russian President Putin praised the military cooperation between the two countries, which will be further deepened.

04/17/2023 | 00:20 min

Sino-US relations are at rock bottom. Talks have not resumed since February amid suspected scandal surrounding a Chinese spy balloon and cancellation of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to China.
US President Joe Biden recently predicted an imminent “shore”. But the leadership in Beijing accuses the US of wanting to “suppress” China and prevent its rise in the world. Experts warned that radio silence increases the risk of misunderstandings.

At the annual Security Dialogue in Singapore, hundreds of ministers, military and experts from around the world discuss current threats. The organizer is the independent International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).