Lloyd Austin says war with China neither imminent nor unavoidable, stressing need for talks

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United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told a gathering of top security officials Saturday that war with China was neither imminent nor unavoidable, despite rapidly escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, stressing the importance of renewed dialogue between him and his Chinese counterpart in avoiding 'miscalculations and...

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin looks on during the Shangri-La Dialogue summit at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, Saturday, June 1, 2024.

While declining to detail the specifics of their conversation, Austin said the most important thing was that the two were again talking. In his own speech, Austin lauded how Marcos “spoke so powerfully last night about how the Philippines is standing up for its sovereign rights under international law.” But when pressed later, he would not say how the U.S. might react if a Filipino were killed in a confrontation with China, calling it hypothetical.

 

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