Sec. Def. Austin says war with China ‘neither imminent nor unavoidable’

by ian

Indo-Pacific tensions are skyrocketing, but Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says the chances of a war with China are still low. This is what he told global security officials at a defense summit in Singapore on Saturday.

The day before, Austin met one-on-one with his Chinese counterpart. It’s the first in-person meeting between the top defense officials after military communications broke down nearly two years ago.

But sparring between Beijing and the Philippines continues in the South China Sea, recently resulting in some Filipino injuries.

The Philippine president said on Friday that he could consider it an act of war if Beijing kills one of his service members or civilians in a territorial dispute. He stated he expects treaty partners, which includes the U.S., to hold to the same standards.