REPORT: China Refused Three Times To Hold Military Meeting With Defense Secretary Austin

(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has asked three times to speak with his Chinese counterpart, but the Chinese Communist Party has refused each time, according to the Financial Times.

Lloyd asked specifically to meet with General Xu Qiliang, vice-chair of the Central Military Commission, in what would be the first public meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials since a thorny meeting between Secretary of State Tony Blinken and his Chinese counterpart in March. Austin seeks to discuss the rising tensions between China, the U.S. and other nations in the Indo-Pacific and South China Sea. (RELATED: UK Navy To Deploy Largest Fleet In Decades To South China Sea)