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Pentagon Chief Slams China While Vowing Deeper Role in Asia

  • Lloyd Austin hit out at Beijing over South China Sea, Xinjiang
  • Remarks could heighten tensions between Beijing, Washington
Lloyd Austin
Lloyd AustinPhotographer: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters/Bloomberg
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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sought to reassure the Asia-Pacific that the U.S. was committed to engagement in the region, while vowing to challenge what he called China’s aggression.

“We will not flinch when our interests are threatened,” Austin said in a speech Tuesday in Singapore. “Yet we do not seek confrontation.”