Chinese Defense Minister Turns Down Talks With U.S. Defense Secretary

Chinese Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu declined an invitation to meet with United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit taking place in Singapore this weekend, the Pentagon said.

Both defense officials are speaking at the summit, an annual conference where ministers from around the world debate Asia’s most pressing security challenges.

At the beginning of the summit on Friday, Li and Austin shook hands but did not have a “substantive exchange,” the Pentagon said.

Tensions between China and the U.S. are at their highest in decades due to clashes over Taiwan, China’s spy balloon, Russia’s war on Ukraine, China’s predatory economic practices, and China’s growing aggression in the South China Sea.

I’m concerned about at some point having an incident that could very, very quickly spiral out of control. I would welcome any opportunity to engage with leadership. I think defense departments should be talking to each other on a routine basis or should have open channels for communication.
—Lloyd Austin

Choke point: The Asia Pacific is a flashpoint of tension between America and China. It is a key location for global economics, so China is trying to drive America out of the area.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned in his article “China Is Steering the World Toward War” that if China is able to take full control of the South China Sea and its shipping lanes, it will weaponize this position in a way that hastens America’s decline.

Since Japan’s defeat in World War ii, America has protected this vital trade route and brought peace to this part of the world. Now the American military is retreating, and other great powers are coming in to fill the vacuum. This is going to dramatically affect trade around the world, and U.S. trade especially.
—Gerald Flurry