US, Chinese defense ministers meet in Singapore

The US and Chinese defense ministers have held face-to-face talks for the first time since President Joe Biden took office in January last year.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum on Friday in Singapore.

In a statement, Washington said they discussed a range of global and regional security issues including North Korea and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

They reportedly stayed firm on their stances over Taiwan.

Washington says Austin called on China to refrain from "further destabilizing actions toward Taiwan".

A Chinese defense ministry spokesperson says Wei condemned Washington's announcement earlier this week that the US will sell more arms to Taiwan.

Wei reportedly warned that China would have no choice but to crush any attempt at Taiwan's independence.