China Declines US Request for Defense Chiefs Meeting

Image copyright: Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • China rejected a US request for a meeting between US Sec. of State Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu at a security forum set to begin Friday in Singapore, criticizing Washington for the move on Tuesday.

  • On Monday, the Pentagon said that the PRC had declined an invitation extended in early May for a meeting between the two defense ministers at the annual Shangri-La Security Forum, adding that the US will continue to work to improve bilateral channels of military-to-military communication.

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

The US seems to seriously believe that it can impose illegal unilateral sanctions against China on the one hand, while pretending to want to build a relationship of trust and communication on the other. This kind of paradoxical US diplomacy is an expression of internalized hegemonic thinking that no longer has a place in a multipolar world. Instead of its persistent and ill-intended attempts to contain China, Washington must take concrete steps to remove obstacles to sincere dialogue and back up its words with direct action.

Anti-China narrative

US sanctions against China do not rule out a meeting between the two defense ministers in Singapore, and this is far from the first time that Beijing has rejected invitations from senior US defense officials to engage in dialogue. Both facts illustrate that Beijing is only using the US-imposed sanctions as a pretext to refuse military communications and continue its policy of confrontation. If the PRC is serious about stabilizing security ties with the US and its openness to engage in bilateral dialogue, now is the time to prove it.

Nerd narrative

There's an 18% chance that the US and China will be at war before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



Sign up to our daily newsletter