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Chinese defense minister's snub of U.S. 'unfortunate': Austin

Washington, Tokyo will bolster ties between industrial bases, says Pentagon chief

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reviews a guard of honor at the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo on June 1.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- China's decision to decline a meeting between its defense minister and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was "unfortunate," Austin told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday.

The U.S. side had requested a meeting between Austin and his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, which kicks off on Friday.

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