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China attaches importance to the development of China-U.S. military relations and communication at all levels, and there has been no break in contact and exchange between the two militaries, Tan Kefei, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, said on Wednesday. However, he urged the U.S. to “create the necessary conditions for dialogue between the two sides.”
Tan told a regular press briefing that “dialogue cannot be without principles, and communication cannot be without a bottom line” when asked about reports that China declined a request for a meeting between the heads of the two militaries in Singapore.
Stressing that the responsibility for the current communication difficulties between the two countries lies entirely with the U.S. side, Tan said that the U.S. on the one hand claims to strengthen communication, but on the other hand, disregards China’s concerns and creates artificial obstacles, which shows no proper attitude for communication.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry also urged the U.S. to create necessary atmosphere and conditions for dialogue and communication between the two militaries. The U.S. should immediately correct its wrong practices, spokesperson Mao Ning said.
“The U.S. is clear about the reason why China-U.S. military dialogue faces difficulties,” said Mao, adding that the U.S. should earnestly respect China’s concerns over its sovereignty, security and interests.
Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Li Shangfu will speak at the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue, also known as the Asia Security Summit, in Singapore from Wednesday to Sunday.
On the sidelines of the summit, Li will meet with heads of delegations from relevant countries, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry.
(Cover: Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei takes questions from the media in Beijing, China, March 16, 2023. /China’s Ministry of National Defense)