Chinese Defense Minister Rejects Meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary
Share and Follow

China on Monday rejected a request from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore this coming weekend, according to the Pentagon.

The rejection comes despite a “weekslong effort” by the U.S. to secure a meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu at the annual conference, which included a letter from Austin to Li, according to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

“Overnight, the PRC informed the U.S. that they have declined our early May invitation for Secretary Austin to meet with PRC Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu in Singapore this week,” Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said in a statement. “The Department believes strongly in the importance of maintaining open lines of military-to-military communication between Washington and Beijing to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict.”

The Chinese Embassy Spokesman Liu Pengyu told the WSJ that the U.S. was “seeking to suppress China through all possible means and continue imposing sanctions on Chinese officials, institutions and companies.”

The Associated Press

In this handout photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Chief of the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Col. Gen. Vladimir Zarudnitsky, left, escorts China’s Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu during a visit to Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Moscow, Russia, Monday, April 17, 2023. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

“Is there any sincerity in and significance of any communication like this?” he added.

While Austin was rebuffed, other officials have been able to recently meet with their counterparts.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with her counterpart last week.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with his counterpart earlier this month in Vienna.

And U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns met with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in early May.

There have been other lower-level meetings between U.S. and Chinese officials.

However, China has kept Austin at arm’s length, perhaps over the areas of tension between the U.S. and Chinese militaries that include Taiwan and China’s spy balloon program. In a high-profile debacle for the Biden administration earlier this year, a Chinese spy balloon flew over sensitive military sites in the continental U.S. before being shot down by the U.S. military over the Atlantic Ocean.

WATCH: GOP Rep. Steube: We Need to Investigate Biden ‘Lying’ about Spy Balloon:

China has also said there was little chance of a meeting between Austin and his new counterpart as long as there are U.S. sanctions on him, which were imposed by the Trump administration in 2018 for Chinese purchases of Russian fighter jets and missiles, according to the Financial Times. The sanctions do not prohibit a meeting between Austin and Li, however.

A senior U.S. defense official told reporters“This is far from the first time that the [People’s Republic of China] has rejected invitations to communicate from the secretary, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, or other [Department of Defense] officials.”

“Frankly, it’s just the latest in a litany of excuses,” the official said, adding that since 2021, China had declined or failed to respond to over a dozen requests for senior-level meetings, multiple requests for standing dialogues, and nearly 10 requests for working-level meetings.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook.

Share and Follow
You May Also Like

Who Is Tobias Jesso Jr? How Old Is Kim Petras Now?

As we know when people want to know anything about anyone they…

Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon leaves almost NOTHING to the imagination as she shows off bare breasts in a sheer dress at Vogue Fashion Night Out in Madrid

Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon leaves almost NOTHING to the imagination as she…

Carrie Underwood Warns Parents About the 'Struggle' of Raising Kids in Today's America

Country music superstar Carrie Underwood undoubtedly lives a life that most people…

Video: Canadian Police Stand Down as Antifa, Militant LGBT’ers Anti-Grooming Demonstrators

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 Canadian police stood down as Antifa…

Feel Safe Yet? NYC Mayor Eric Adams Deploys Police Robot to Times Square Subway Station

The NYPD is deploying robot police to the Times Square subway station,…

Rupert Murdoch, 92, announces he will step down as chairman of Fox and NewsCorp after 70 years: His eldest son Lachlan wins the battle to succeed his father after decades of speculation

Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son has emerged victorious in the battle to succeed…

Parents Defend Themselves from Violent Antifa Militants at 'Education Over Indoctrination' Protest

Wherever traditional values are being fought for, you can expect the left’s…

What the future holds for Rupert Murdoch’s heir Lachlan and Fox News as it faces pivotal 2024 US election, decline of Biden and the ever-present specter of Trump

The resignation of Rupert Murdoch as leader of Fox News’ parent company…