What should we know about the Shangri-La Dialogue’s Sino-US Defense Ministers talks?

Shangri-La Dialogue
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin meets with Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, June 10, 2022. (Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE_

What did the Chinese and American defense ministers discuss? 

According to the Chinese side’s introduction, the two sides addressed the relationship between China and the United States, the Taiwan Strait problem, the South China Sea issue, and the Ukraine crisis within an hour. 

Lloyd Austin, the United States’ Defense Secretary, tweeted: “At the Shangri-La Dialogue, I met with Minister Wei of the People’s Republic of China. We talked about US-China defense relations, as well as global and regional security challenges.” 

Taiwan issue: The US administration stated two days before the summit that it had approved the transfer of $120 million in warship spare parts and related technical support to Taiwan. This is the fourth arms sale by the United States to Taiwan since the Biden administration entered office. 

President Biden stated on May 23 during a visit to Japan that if China attacks Taiwan, the US will use military action to defend Taiwan. Austin claimed in an interview with the Nikkei on June 1 that he aims to increase weaponry supplies and training for the Taiwanese military in order to counter China’s rising threat. China must reiterate its position and offer a warning face to face. 

Ukrainian crisis issue: This is a subject that all parties must deal with, yet their perspectives are quite different, and there is no opportunity for retreat or modification. It is more that both sides promote their own points of view. 

Indo-Pacific and Asia-Pacific: The United States confirms its commitment to the Asia-Pacific area, while China underscores China’s position and willingness to maintain and defend regional peace. Consensus: The US hopes to focus on establishing more communication hotlines between China and the US, as well as on crisis management and control, maintaining high-level strategic communication, enhancing strategic mutual trust between the two sides, managing and controlling conflicts and differences, and not turning conflicts and differences into conflicts confrontation.