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NEWS | May 31, 2024

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With People's Republic of China (PRC) Minister of National Defense Admiral Dong Jun

U.S. Department of Defense

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Admiral Dong Jun, Minister of National Defense of the People's Republic of China (PRC), met today in Singapore on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue to discuss U.S.-PRC defense relations, as well as regional and global security issues.

Secretary Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining open lines of military-to-military communication between the United States and the PRC. Secretary Austin reaffirmed the announcement by President Biden and PRC President Xi Jinping in November 2023 that both sides will resume telephone conversations between theater commanders in the coming months, and the Secretary welcomed plans to convene a crisis-communications working group by the end of the year.

The Secretary expressed concern about recent provocative PLA activity around the Taiwan Strait, and he reiterated that the PRC should not use Taiwan's political transition — part of a normal, routine democratic process — as a pretext for coercive measures.  The Secretary underscored that the United States remains committed to its longstanding one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. He also reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The Secretary made clear that the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate — safely and responsibly — wherever international law allows.  He underscored the importance of respect for high seas freedom of navigation guaranteed under international law, especially in the South China Sea. He also discussed Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine and the PRC's role in supporting Russia's defense industrial base. The Secretary also expressed concerns about recent provocations from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), including its direct contributions to Russia's ongoing assault on Ukraine.

Today's meeting follows the Secretary's April 16 video teleconference call with the Admiral. Department officials will continue active discussions with their PRC counterparts about future engagements between defense and military officials at multiple levels.

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