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International relations

Austin in Singapore: US seeks no China fight but 'will not flinch'

Defense secretary rebukes Beijing over South China Sea, Taiwan and Uyghurs

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin: He is on a Southeast Asia tour that includes Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The U.S. seeks no confrontation with China but "will not flinch" when its interests are threatened, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday in a wide-ranging speech in Singapore.

Speaking on the first stop of a Southeast Asian tour that will also take him to Vietnam and the Philippines this week, Austin presented a case for a greater American presence in the Indo-Pacific.

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