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Taiwan lashes back at Chinese defense minister's threats

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Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers a keynote address during the opening dinner of the 18th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue an annual defense and security forum in Asia in Singapore Friday May 3

"The PLA has the confidence, capability and methods to adamantly safeguard national sovereignty, security and developmental interests".

The United States' actions on Taiwan and the South China Sea are hardly conducive to maintaining stability in the region, a senior Chinese military official said on Saturday, responding to comments by acting U.S. Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan. "China and ASEAN countries have made positive progress in negotiating the Code of Conduct".

"This includes greater interoperability and information-sharing", Shanahan said.

The United States has accused Huawei of espionage, breaching trade sanctions against Iran and intellectual property theft.

Beyond technical considerations that Singapore is mulling over in its own decision, he said the lack of trust could lead to "grave consequences", where countries end up developing their own systems and operating in separate worlds that are less safe and more unhappy. And after his remarks, during questions from the audience, he suggested that his speech was more directly critical than those of other US defense secretaries in the past. In 2014, for example, then-Secretary Chuck Hagel used the podium to slam China for cyberspying and said the US would not look away while Beijing's territorial claims destabilized the region and threatened Asia's long-term progress.

China denied that its forces targeted the USA military aircraft.

"China can and should have a cooperative relationship with the rest of the region..."

"How can the United States enact a law to interfere in China's internal affairs?"

"Some countries have blatantly showed muscles in this region". An example provided in the report was how China has built infrastructure projects in the Maldives "at significantly inflated prices compared to what was previously agreed". China last sent a high-ranking general to the annual conference in 2011. Of the $3.7 billion, $1.4 billion were owed to China, mostly for funding "One Belt, One Road" projects as part of China's foreign policy initiative.

Beijing has invested heavily in the Cambodian city of Sihanoukville, which is home to the country's only deepwater port.

The Pentagon has revealed it seeks a strong partnership with Taiwan, Taiwanese media reported Sunday.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said such remarks in defence of the Chinese military's handling of the protests were "incredible". On Saturday, Shanahan stressed the USA provision of defense articles and services to Taiwan, saying the support "empowers the people of Taiwan to determine their own future".

It has suspended official contacts with Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party became president in May 2017.

The U.S.is obligated to sell "arms of a defensive character" to Taipei under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. China also has a record of boycotts and withdrawal economic support for countries - South Korea, for example - that go against its views.

Yet another Global Times article was brimming with applause from Chinese analysts who praised Wei for laying down red lines on Taiwan and the South China Sea islands.

"He (Defence Minister Wei) pointed out that the U.S. has recently had a series of negative words and actions on this issue", Wu said, adding that Beijing was "firmly opposed" to this. We are investing in the region. China claims the strategic waterway virtually in its entirety and is sensitive to all foreign naval action in the area, especially by the US and allies such as Australia.

But he also called on the Pacific nations to invest in their own futures. Where there are threats, there are defences.

US lawmakers said Shanahan's speech was impressive.

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