China refused a meeting between Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, which Washington tried to organize on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Singapore. This was reported today, May 29, by The Wall Street Journal, citing the Pentagon press service.
“Last night, the PRC informed the United States that it was rejecting a proposal we sent in early May to hold a meeting between Minister Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu in Singapore this week,” – writes the publication with reference to the statement of the US defense department.
The Shangri-La Dialogue International Security Forum will be held in Singapore on June 2-4.
The US Department of Defense said in a statement that Washington “strongly believes in the importance of maintaining open channels of communication between the military in Washington and Beijing in order to prevent competition from escalating into conflict.”