Siem Reap, 22 November 2022 (TDI): Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister, Wei Fenghe met the United States (US) Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

During the meeting Wei Fenghe reaffirmed China’s position on the Taiwan question, stating that “Taiwan is China’s Taiwan and resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese.”

In their 90-minute conversation, the Chinese Defense Minister described Taiwan as the number one “red line” in the China-US relationship and “the core to China’s core interests.” He also denounced attempts at foreign meddling.

This meeting was the second of the two counterparts. Five months ago, in Singapore, they had their first in-person discussion of the year.

Wei claimed that the face-to-face conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Joe Biden has characterized the direction for the development of China-US relations.

The meeting took place in Bali, Indonesia, about a week ago, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. Wei said he hoped the US keeps its promise and fully implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state.

Along these lines, he called for a “rational and practical” policy toward China. Moreover, the Chinese Defense Minister apprised Austin that although the Chinese military values its relationship with the US military, the US “must respect China’s core interests.”

He added, “The current state of the China-US relationship is entirely the fault of the United States.” The duo concurred that keeping lines of communication open will help in maintaining peace and stability across the region.

While Lloyd Austin on his part also stressed the need for dialogues on “reducing strategic risk, improving crisis communications, & enhancing operational safety.” They also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis, the South China Sea, & the Korean Peninsula.

Also read: China publishes White Paper on Taiwan Question