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US-China tensions

U.S. policy on Taiwan hasn't changed, but China's has: Austin

Defense chief rules out 'Asian NATO;' warns of Beijing's 'growing coercion'

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a plenary session at the 19th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 11.   © AP

SINGAPORE -- U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday warned of "growing coercion" from Beijing on Taiwan, and said that while American policy toward the self-governing island has not changed, the same cannot be said for China.

"We've witnessed a steady increase in provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan," Austin said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, noting that aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army have been flying near the island in "record numbers" in recent months, "nearly on a daily basis."

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