BEIJING, November 22. /TASS/. China attaches great importance to the development of relations between the armed forces of China and the United States, but Washington must respect Beijing’s key interests, China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, a member of the State Council, said at a meeting with the Pentagon’s chief Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of a meeting ASEAN defense ministers with dialogue partners in Cambodia.
"China attaches great importance to the development of relations between the armed forces of the two countries, but the US side must respect China’s key interests," Wei is quoted as saying in the Chinese Defense Ministry’s message on the WeChat social network.
Wei also expressed hope that the United States would keep its promises, promote the implementation of the agreements between the two heads of state, and adhere to a prudent and pragmatic policy towards China, and help return bilateral relations to the path of sound and sustainable development.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and an expanded meeting with dialogue partners, being held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on November 21-23.
The previous meeting of the Chinese and US defense ministers was held in Singapore in June on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue regional security forum. However, after the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August relations between Beijing and Washington deteriorated sharply. The dialogue between the defense ministries was actually suspended.