Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, left, meets with China’s Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe during a meeting on the sidelines of the 18th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, an annual defense and security forum in Asia, in Singapore, Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Lolita Baldor)
SINGAPORE – Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says he will call out China's bad behavior in a speech Saturday, including what he termed the excessive militarization of manmade islands in the South China Sea.
Shanahan says China's installation of long runways and surface-to-air missiles on the outposts amounts to "overkill" and goes beyond defensive measures.
He spoke to reporters just before meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe at the Shangri-La Dialogue national security conference.
His remarks underscore America's frayed relations with China, as the Trump administration wages a trade war with Beijing, imposes sanctions on Chinese tech giant Huawei and approves a weapons sale to Taiwan, the self-ruled island the Communist mainland claims as its own territory.
The Pentagon says Shanahan and Wei discussed ways to build better military relations.