STORY: The U.S. and its allies traded barbs with China at a security meeting in Singapore on Saturday (June 11).
While the war in Ukraine dominated proceedings at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Taiwan was also a sticking point.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington would do its part to manage tensions with China and prevent conflict but that it would also continue to stand by its allies, including Taiwan.
‘"That's especially important as the PRC (People's Republic of China) adopts a more coercive and aggressive approach to its territorial claims."
China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own and has vowed to take it by force if needed.
Lieutenant General Zhang Zhenzhong - a senior Chinese military officer – told reporters Austin's speech was confrontational.
He expressed "strong dissatisfaction" and "firm opposition" to what he called the "many unfounded accusations against China".
The defense minister of Japan Nobuo Kishi - one of Washington's closest allies in Asia - also told the meeting that military partnership between China and Russia was worrying:
Over the past few months - China and the U.S. have clashed over everything from Taiwan and China's human rights record to its military activity in the South China Sea.