Nov. 22, 2022
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met today with General Wei Fenghe, Minister of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), on the margins of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Secretary Austin and General Wei discussed U.S.-PRC defense relations and regional and global security issues. Secretary Austin emphasized the need to responsibly manage competition and maintain open lines of communication.
The Secretary also discussed the importance of substantive dialogue on reducing strategic risk, improving crisis communications, and enhancing operational safety. He raised concerns about the increasingly dangerous behavior demonstrated by PLA aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region that increases the risk of an accident. The Secretary also affirmed that the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.
Secretary Austin discussed Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine and underscored how both the United States and the PRC oppose the use of nuclear weapons or threats to use them. Secretary Austin also expressed concerns about recent provocations from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and called on the PRC to fully enforce existing U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding the DPRK’s unlawful weapons programs.
The Secretary reiterated that the United States remains committed to our longstanding one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. The Secretary reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Strait. He underscored his opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo and called on the PRC to refrain from further destabilizing actions toward Taiwan.