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International relations

China fends off pressure over Taiwan in ASEAN-led defense talks

Japan criticizes Beijing's sea legislation; nations vow 'respect for international law'

China regards Taiwan as a "core interest" not subject to outside interference.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe on Wednesday told the U.S., Japan and a host of Southeast Asian neighbors that Beijing will not bend when it comes to Taiwan, the South China Sea and other "core interests."

Speaking at the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), held online and hosted by Brunei, Wei acknowledged other countries' "legitimate concerns" on unspecified matters but said China's national interests must be fully respected and safeguarded, according to China's Ministry of National Defense.

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