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Richard Marles meets with Chinese defence minister


Defence Minister Richard Marles has held a breakthrough meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Singapore.

Mr Marles met with General Wei Fenghe for more than hour on the sideline of the Shangri-La Defence Dialogue, marking the first time in three years the defence ministers of the two countries have met.

Lowy Institute Senior Fellow Richard McGregor says the meeting was “very interesting” as both Australia and China were willing to have a conversation.

He said before Mr Marles went to Singapore he said there was no meeting arranged so the occurrence of one shows both countries “decided it was about time to end the stand-off”.

“It’s important to remember though there’s no change in all the fundamental problems in the relationship, all that’s happening now is we’re talking about them,” he told Sky News Australia.

“In the case of the military that’s a good thing because it means we might be able to avoid the kind of incidents we had in the South China Sea a few months ago.”

Defence Minister Richard Marles has held a breakthrough meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Singapore.

Mr Marles met with General Wei Fenghe for more than hour on the sideline of the Shangri-La Defence Dialogue, marking the first time in three years the defence ministers of the two countries have met.

Lowy Institute Senior Fellow Richard McGregor says the meeting was “very interesting” as both Australia and China were willing to have a conversation.

He said before Mr Marles went to Singapore he said there was no meeting arranged so the occurrence of one shows both countries “decided it was about time to end the stand-off”.

“It’s important to remember though there’s no change in all the fundamental problems in the relationship, all that’s happening now is we’re talking about them,” he told Sky News Australia.

“In the case of the military that’s a good thing because it means we might be able to avoid the kind of incidents we had in the South China Sea a few months ago.”
Defence Minister Richard Marles has held a breakthrough meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Singapore.

Mr Marles met with General Wei Fenghe for more than hour on the sideline of the Shangri-La Defence Dialogue, marking the first time in three years the defence ministers of the two countries have met.

Lowy Institute Senior Fellow Richard McGregor says the meeting was “very interesting” as both Australia and China were willing to have a conversation.

He said before Mr Marles went to Singapore he said there was no meeting arranged so the occurrence of one shows both countries “decided it was about time to end the stand-off”.

“It’s important to remember though there’s no change in all the fundamental problems in the relationship, all that’s happening now is we’re talking about them,” he told Sky News Australia.

“In the case of the military that’s a good thing because it means we might be able to avoid the kind of incidents we had in the South China Sea a few months ago.”

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