PHNOM PENH, Nov. 22 — Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, who is attending the 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Cambodia, held talks with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on November 22, 2022.
General Wei Fenghe first introduced the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. He said that President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden held in-person meeting at the 17th G20 Leaders’ Summit and reached a series of important consensus, charting the right course for the development of China-US relations. The responsibility for the current situation in China-US relations lies with the US, not with China. China values the development of relations between the two countries and the two militaries, but the US must respect China’s core interests. China hopes that the US will keep its word, honor its commitment, truly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, and adopt a rational and pragmatic China policy, so as to bring China-US relations back to the track of steady and sound development.
General Wei stressed that the Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests and is the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations. Taiwan is China’s Taiwan. The settlement of the Taiwan question is the Chinese people’s own affair, and no external force has the right to interfere. The Chinese armed forces have the backbone, resolve, confidence and capability to resolutely safeguard the national reunification.
During the talks, both sides agreed that the two militaries should earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, maintain communication and contact, strengthen crisis management and control, and strive to maintain regional security and stability.
The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional situations, the Ukraine crisis, the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula issues.