Tensions high as military leaders meet in Singapore

US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin, arrives for the opening dinner for the 20th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's annual defense and security forum, in Singapore, Friday, June 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • New Cold War? U.S., China defense chiefs square off in Singapore
  • U.S. and Chinese military leaders squared off at a major security conference in Singapore: Beijing asserted that its forces are ready for war over Taiwan, while U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin chided China for its increasingly aggressive military actions in the region.
  • Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu bluntly told the Shangri-La dialogue defense conference that Beijing seeks “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, but will “make no promise to renounce the use of force” if necessary to make the island democracy part of China.
  • “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a second,” he said. “We will fear no opponents and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity regardless of any cost.”
  • Li’s comments came a day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. military is stepping up plans, coordination and training to “deter aggression.”
  • The competing remarks, in speeches at Shangri-La last weekend, underscored the depths of U.S.-China tensions. The strains were on display ahead of the security conference when Chinese jets engaged in a dangerous aerial intercept of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in the region last week.
  • The intercept was followed by another incident this week, in which a Chinese warship sailed in front of a U.S. Navy destroyer during transit through the Taiwan Strait.
  • White House spokesman John Kirby on Monday condemned the close call between the destroyer USS Chung Hoon and a Chinese destroyer. “We urge them to make better decisions about how they operate in international air space and sea space,” Mr. Kirby said, noting that the naval encounter and the aerial encounter were part of a growing level of aggressiveness by Beijing’s military.

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